Call for pedestrian crossing in Hampstead Garden Suburb after pensioner was left brain damaged
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
The family of a pensioner who suffered severe brain damage after being hit by a car on a busy stretch of road has joined residents in urgently calling for a safety crossing.
Mr Oruci, 75, was hospitalised for five weeks after being struck on a Sunday evening while crossing Falloden Way, in Hampstead Garden Suburb, as he was visiting his family.
The accident, on August 2, between the junctions for Midholm and Eastholm, left the previously fit and healthy pensioner with a punctured lung, broken ribs, shattered pelvis and suffering a severe brain haemorrhage.
He now faces life in a wheelchair and needing 24-hour care.
The accident came after his daughter, Teuta Bakalli, had already been backing calls for a pedestrian crossing to be installed on the stretch of road, which has become feared locally due to speeding cars and the high number of children crossing to reach a nearby playground.
A Falloden Way resident, Mrs Bakalli said: “My father’s accident was the most traumatic experience. He was proudly independent and now he’s been left in a wheelchair. We can’t undo what happened but this is about lessons learned. We have had three accidents on this stretch of road in a very short amount of time and it’s absolutely necessary that something is done.”
Just weeks before Mr Oruci’s accident, a 45-year-old man died after crashing into a lamppost on the same section of Falloden Way.
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A month before, Mrs Bakalli says she narrowly missed a car which collided with a parked vehicle on the same stretch of road.
Brendan O’Kelly, who lives in Midholm, described the road as “extremely dangerous”. He said: “I genuinely believe I am taking my three children’s lives in my hands each time I try to cross over to the playground. My wife refuses to cross it and other residents wanting to visit the playground have started to drive there instead of walk. There are two bus stops either side so you also get children running after buses. You generally have to wait for two considerate drivers to stop to let you cross each lane of traffic, which is rare so close to the North Circular.
“The installation of a pedestrian-operated traffic light or a Zebra crossing is vital and long overdue if death or further serious injury is to be avoided.”
Mr O’Kelly, along with other residents, have written to Transport for London (TfL), which is responsible for the road, calling for them to install a pedestrian crossing.
A spokesman for TfL said: “The safety of all road users remains a top priority for TfL. We are aware of local concerns over safety along the A1 Falloden Way and are working closely with the local school and communities to fully understand and help address them.”