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Alex Odogwu: Road death ‘accidental’, rules coroner

'We miss his cheery presence and have expressed our sympathies'

14 February, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

Alex Odogwu

A 94-year-old man’s road death just yards from his retirement home has been ruled as accidental.

A coroner’s inquest heard that Alex Odogwu was pronounced dead in Finchley Road, outside Finchley and Frognal station, on April 4 last year. He had been crossing during heavy traffic when he was struck by a lorry and suffered fatal injuries.

A police investigation found the driver’s mirror had not been positioned as it should have been, but coroner Richard Brittain told Friday’s hearing: “I am confident that while Mr Odogwu was walking in front of stationary traffic Mr Odogwu would not have been visible to the driver from the rear view mirror even if properly adjusted.”

He added: “The LGV was being driven along Finchley Road in heavy stop-start traffic. As Mr Odogwu walked in front of the LGV it began to move forwards, knocking Mr Odogwu down to the ground.”

Mr Odogwu was born in Nigeria in 1924 and moved to Notting Hill as an adult, where he had three children with his wife Stella, who died in 2001.

He worked as a shipping broker at a multinational company for his entire career before retiring in the 1990s. Even in his old age, he tried to remain independent. For the past 10 years, Mr Odogwu lived in the Spring Grove retirement home in Finchley Road, just a short walk from the crash scene.

Sony Joy, manager of Spring Grove retirement home said: “We miss his cheery presence and have expressed our sympathies and respects to his family.”

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