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Chilling message from Burnley dad killed on M65
A DRIVER killed on the M65 told his fiancée a week earlier that the road was ‘an accident waiting to happen’.
Father-of-two Mark Burgess had complained to Kirsty Tipping about how dark the road was as they travelled along the same stretch where the smash happened.
Miss Tipping is now supporting the Lancashire Telegraph’s Turn The Lights On campaign and is begging authorities to relight the road.
She said: “Mark said it was dangerous and that the lights needed to be put back on.
“The week before the crash, we were driving along the M65 and he said it was an accident waiting to happen.
“He had to put his main beam on twice.
“Then the accident did happen.”
A petition has also started about the lights after Burnley-born Mr Burgess, who lived in Abbey Village, was thrown from his Citroen Saxo when he crashed into a barrier near junction eight on November 23.
The 39-year-old, who was a HGV driver, had been visiting a cousin in Padiham, Miss Tipping said.
An investigation into the collision has been launched and there is so far no suggestion that the lighting was the cause.
But drivers behind Mr Burgess’ car said they believed they could have avoided crashing into debris from the vehicle on the carriageway from the accident had there been lights.
Three other cars and an ambulance, which was transporting a patient from Nelson to Royal Blackburn Hospital, crashed into the debris, causing some to flip over.
Emergency services said that on at least one other occasion since they have asked for the lights to be put on temporarily following a crash on the M65 because debris has been on the road but have been refused.
The Highways Agency, which is responsible for the motorway between junctions one to 10, said the lights from seven to 10 were permanently switched off in 2011 as part of its scheme to save around 350 tonnes of carbon every year.
The agency said the remaining junctions had never had lights.
The stretch is part of around 121 miles of motorway nationally where the government switched off lights in a bid to help ‘save the planet’.
The section of the M65 from junction 10 to 14, where the lights are switched off between midnight and 5am, is the responsibility of Lancashire County Council.
Miss Tipping said she believed her fiancé, who was a former Towneley High School pupil, would have supported the campaign.
The 40-year-old home carer, who lives in Abbey Village, said: “I beg Lancashire County Council and the Highways Agency to put the lights on.
“Mark’s death might not have been prevented, but certainly the accidents after that caused by crashing into the debris could have been prevented.
“Fortunately nobody else was killed, but it could have happened.”
She said the exact circumstances surrounding Mr Burgess’ death were still a mystery.
An inquest has been opened and adjourned until February 18.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: "The police are still investigating the incident that occurred on the M65 and we will work with them where needed on the detailed circumstances of the accident, but cannot comment further until they have completed their investigation."
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