A driver flashing her lights to warn that a man was in danger on the road blinded another motorist, who then ran over the pedestrian and killed him. 

Keith Wrightson, 62 years old, was a retired merchant navy captain who died from massive chest injuries. He fell into the road after he was walking home from a football game and tripped on it.

After being run over by a BMW driver, the father and soon-to be grandfather died. He claimed that he was blinded from the flashing lights of approaching traffic. 

A court heard that the BMW driver claimed he didn’t see Mr Wrightson in time and that the driver crushed him.  

Luke Wrightson, the son of a merchant navy officer, said that he and his father had been watching Scarborough Athletic and visiting pubs before and afterwards.

Luke Wrightson described his father’s death to an inquest. He said that his father was right ahead of him when he lost his feet and began to walk towards the road. I tried to stop him, but unfortunately I was unable to.

“He fell onto the road, his head pointing towards the centre of it.

Keith Wrightson (pictured with wife Gill) died when he was run over by a BMW after he tripped in the road on the way back from a football match with his son, an inquest into his death heard

Keith Wrightson (pictured with Gill) died after he fell in the road while returning from a match with his son. An inquest into Wrightson’s death was conducted

‘I can’t recall his exact position, if he was on his stomach or not at the moment he fell. I went to help him, trying my best to lift him so I was slightly above him.

“I saw lights, and I noticed a car coming. At this point, I was not too concerned. I was aware of the danger and decided to signal the car by waving my arms at it as it approached.

Father and husband of great affection: “I knew I loved him, but I didn’t know how much until he died in a tragic way.” 

Bradford-born Mr Wrightson, a Scarborough supporter, joined the merchant Navy in 1975. He traveled the world and rose to the rank of captain.

To the sorrow of Kirsty, he died just weeks before his granddaughter was born.

Kirsty read the statement of Mrs Wrightson’s widow Gill to the hearing. She said that she and Mr Wrightson loved each other deeply and that she hoped they would live together.

‘I am heartbroken. I knew I loved and cherished him, but I didn’t know how much until he died in such an awful way.

“The impact of losing Keith was immeasurable for me, my family and our friends. Luke was the victim of his father’s murder, which makes me especially worried about him.

I realized that the car was not going stop. I panicked and shouted “stop” among other things, but it was too late. I had to get out of my way.

“At the last moment I dived towards grass and pavement. I don’t know if my trailing leg was caught but I believe it was.

“When I got up after the car passed, I was looking for my father.

“I heard a bang as it occurred. I think I saw my dad bleeding and unresponsive as I went around the back of the car.

“For what it’s worth, even though he wasn’t a doctor, I was 99 percent sure he was dead.”

Danielle Fardoe, teacher, saw Mr Wrightson fall in the rearview mirror and flashed her light to warn other drivers.

The inquest heard that her good intentions may have led to a phenomenon called ‘disability gaze’ in Vignesh Chandrasekar’s oncoming driver.

The 40-year old businessman claimed he was blindsided by the flashing and drove over Mr Wrightson in his BMW X1 – even while his 33-year-old son Luke Wrightson was waving frantically in front of him.

According to Mr Chandrasekar, he told the Northallerton, North Yorks inquest that he didn’t see Luke, and that by the time he saw Mr Wrighton lying on the Scarborough road, it was too late for him to stop.

Luke Wrightson was distraught when he saw that a local resident and driver brought jacks to help Mr Wrightson lift the car. He was heard shouting: “Dad Dad, he is dead, he is gone!”

They failed to succeed. A forensic pathologist told the hearing that he was killed by the collision impact, which caused fatal chest injuries and 49 fractures.  

The BMW driver which struck Keith Wrightson said he was 'blindsided' by another motorist flashing lights to warn him and did not see the retired seaman, 62, who had fallen in the road

Keith Wrightson was struck by a BMW driver who claimed he was blindsided by another motorist flashing lights to warn them. He didn’t see the retired seaman, aged 62, who had fallen on the road.

Dominic Adamson, QC, the Wrightson family’s lawyer, asked Mr Chandrasekar why he was unable to slow down when a driver flashed her lights to warn him. Luke Wrightson, who was wearing light-coloured clothing, waved in the road.

He said that Miss Fardoe’s flashing lights had temporarily blinded him.

Mr Chandrasekar claimed that she flashed them once and then ‘frantically,’ then a steady beam.

He said, “A single flash became frantic flashing.” I was baffled by this explanation. I looked at my controls, including my lights, in case they were on full beam.

‘I also checked for warning lights in case there was something wrong with my vehicle.’

He claimed that he had thought of it as a prank or criminal attempt to cause a car accident and force him to submit a fraudulent insurance policy.

Mr Adamson asked him if he had seen Luke Wrightson wave his arms.

He replied, “I didn’t.”

Mr Chandrasekar claimed that he saw Mr Wrightson Sr lying in a roadside, moments before his car rolled over him.

Mr Adamson stated that Mr Wrightson was not present between you and the deceased. He was waving his arms at you, but you could still see the deceased lying on the ground.

He replied, “That was the first view that I had, I can only tell you what I have seen.”

Police accident investigator, Sgt Ken Riley, told the inquest that Mr Chandrasekar was most likely to have been affected ‘disability gaze’ which can be caused by bright oncoming headslights.

He stated that studies had shown that drivers’ average eyesight recovery time was between three to five seconds.

It was not possible to determine exactly the impact Miss Fardoe’s car had on the collision, as it was not located in relation with Mr Wrightson.  

John Broadbridge, Assistant Coroner, adjourned hearing until December 6, when it is expected that it will conclude.