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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Man's death sparks road safety warning

By Andrea Thompson

A FRIEND of the Whitehaven man killed when he was hit by a car in Allonby fears more people will die unless something is done to make the accident blackspot safer for all road users.

Elaine Patterson spoke out as tributes poured in for Michael Blair, who she knew through the Blue Dial Caravan Park in Allonby. Mr Blair had been staying there with his family when the tragedy happened.

Father-of-two Mr Blair, 51, of Rutland Avenue, Whitehaven, was hit by a Porsche on the B5300, about a mile-and-a-half south of Allonby, while out walking his dog on Tuesday morning. He died at the scene.

Ms Patterson told the News & Star: “We from the caravan park all use that area to cross with our dogs. It’s absolutely horrendous. You see it all the time - people racing down the road, going well faster than the speed limit.

“It’s such a lovely road and there are such a lot of holiday makers who use it. Something needs to be done.

“I think there should be speed cameras and they need to keep the verges and bushes cut - otherwise there are going to be more and more accidents, regardless of anybody’s fault.”

Ms Patterson paid tribute to Mr Blair, a postal worker and son of former Copeland mayor Charles Blair of Mirehouse.

She had known him through the caravan park where he had holidayed for more than 20 years.

“Michael was a lovely guy, a smashing fellow. I have known him quite a while and he really was a pleasant chap who would help anyone. We will miss him.”

Copeland councillor Allan Holliday of Kells, is also a postal worker and had known Mr Blair for many years.

He said: “He was a lovely fellow. He was quiet and went about his business but he was effective at what he did. He looked after his family and his friends. He was always there and willing to give anyone a hand and was just a genuinely nice guy. It’s a tragedy.”

Mr Blair worked for Royal Mail in Whitehaven and was a union official for the Communication Workers Union before moving on to the travelling post office. He then moved to the travelling post office based in Carlisle.

His brother-in-law, Dave Craddock, is manager of the Whitehaven Delivery Office.

Mr Blair is survived by his wife, Annie, and their children Lindsay and Michael.

An inquest into his death was opened by West Cumbria coroner John Taylor yesterday and adjourned to a date to be fixed.

His funeral takes place at St Benedict’s Church, Mirehouse at 10.30am on Monday. September 1, folloed by cremation at Distington Hall. The family have requested family flowers only but donations can be made to Cumbria Ambulance Service.

* The driver of the Porsche, a 31-year-old man from Maryport, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but was later released without charge.

ends

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