Daniel Robins hit stray pony on busy A31 after police reopened road to let traffic flow

UPDATED: Mum of biker killed on A31 criticises police for reopening road without finding missing pony

Daniel Robins

UPDATED: Mum of biker killed on A31 criticises police for reopening road without finding missing pony

First published in News
Last updated

THE mum of a motorcyclist killed after colliding with a New Forest pony has criticised police for re-opening a busy dual-carriageway without first finding the stray animal.

Daniel Robins of Alumhurst Road, Bournemouth, was one of two riders who were in collision with the animal on the westbound A31 at Picket Post near Ringwood, an inquest heard yesterday.

The 31-year-old was pronounced dead at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Southampton Coroner’s Court was told.

As previously reported, the incident stranded hundreds of drivers in their cars with no food or water or access to toilets.

Coroner Grahame Short ruled Mr Robins’ death, after he struck the horse at about 6.15pm on January 22, had been accidental.

But speaking afterwards, mum Lorna Robins, pictured right, told the Daily Echo the horse should have been found before the road was deemed safe to reopen.

She said: “You can't make assumptions like that especially when life's in danger.

“I just feel given it could be a life and death situation they should have erred on the side of caution.”

Police initially closed the entire A31 after the wild horse was spotted by PC Kevin Pearson.

But after 40 minutes the horse vanished into undergrowth.

Meanwhile, with both lanes shut just after 5pm, rush hour traffic was building up as police officers struggled to locate the horse in the half mile coned off area.

The court heard how the outer lane of the dual carriageway was reopened while the inner road remained shut for half a mile for the search to continue.

PC Pearson said: “We had to make a decision to allow traffic to flow. We could not keep the road closed indefinitely."

The inquest heard how the horse had actually strayed some 1.1miles from the closed off lane and was standing in the middle of the empty carriageway.

Meanwhile Mr Robins and the other rider Ian Woolgar, 47, from Broadstone, had ridden to the front of the stopped traffic and when the outer lane reopened the two set off - with Mr Robins ahead.

Mr Robins then struck the horse.

This flung the animal into the path of Mr Woolgar who also hit it.

But Mrs Robins asked the coroner why, if the animal was still on the loose police had not kept traffic moving at a slower pace for a much longer stretch.

She said: "My son would be alive today if that happened.”

The probe also looked at both bikes and there were no defects and the weather and road conditions were good.

Tests found no drugs or alcohol in Mr Robins’ blood.

There was no indication of speeding.

A post mortem found he died from multiple injuries to the body and the head.

Mr Woolgar suffered broken bones and damaged liver and kidney.

Officers on scene made judgement call

Superintendent Lucy Hutson, who leads the Roads Policing Unit in Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: "This accident was the culmination of an extremely tragic and rare set of circumstances.

“Our officers acted on the basis of all the information that was available to them at that time, including speaking to motorists in the queueing traffic, and made a judgement call under these very difficult conditions. Our deepest sympathies remain with the family of Mr Robins”

Comments (15)

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3:44pm Mon 30 Jun 14

djd says...

We have DUAL carriageways in the UK.
You DUEL with pistols in France.
We have DUAL carriageways in the UK. You DUEL with pistols in France. djd
  • Score: 9

4:42pm Mon 30 Jun 14

mikeymagic says...

It's poor jounalism once again, but probably not the most appropriate point to make about this story.

My thoughts go out to all who have been affected by this tragic incident. Hopefully lessons can be taken from this but sadly the outcome will remain.

RIP
It's poor jounalism once again, but probably not the most appropriate point to make about this story. My thoughts go out to all who have been affected by this tragic incident. Hopefully lessons can be taken from this but sadly the outcome will remain. RIP mikeymagic
  • Score: 8

8:04pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Controversial But True says...

As sad as this is, it seems that the Echo is blaming the police for the incident.

No police helicopter available - blame the government for irrational cuts - not the underfunded, underpaid and overworked police!

The police do a fantastic job but for a paper with falling sales to point the finger of blame as the inquest continues, is going to lose even more readers!
As sad as this is, it seems that the Echo is blaming the police for the incident. No police helicopter available - blame the government for irrational cuts - not the underfunded, underpaid and overworked police! The police do a fantastic job but for a paper with falling sales to point the finger of blame as the inquest continues, is going to lose even more readers! Controversial But True
  • Score: 35

10:32pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Huey says...

Curse those horses. Get rid of them and get into the 21st century
Curse those horses. Get rid of them and get into the 21st century Huey
  • Score: -16

10:57pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Ragwin says...

"THE mum of a motorcyclist killed after colliding with a New Forest pony has criticised police for re-opening a busy dual-carriageway without first finding the stray animal."

Close every road in the New Forest because of a missing pony.?
"THE mum of a motorcyclist killed after colliding with a New Forest pony has criticised police for re-opening a busy dual-carriageway without first finding the stray animal." Close every road in the New Forest because of a missing pony.? Ragwin
  • Score: 23

10:59pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Ragwin says...

Huey wrote:
Curse those horses. Get rid of them and get into the 21st century
A better idea would be to ban motorbikes. One our MP's should introduce a Parliamentary Bill to have these death machines removed from the roads once and forever.
[quote][p][bold]Huey[/bold] wrote: Curse those horses. Get rid of them and get into the 21st century[/p][/quote]A better idea would be to ban motorbikes. One our MP's should introduce a Parliamentary Bill to have these death machines removed from the roads once and forever. Ragwin
  • Score: -4

11:08pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Nice But Dim says...

This is a really sad story & my thoughts go out to the family. But the Police are dammed if they do ( close the roads ) and dammed if they don't (open them). Who'd be a copper.
This is a really sad story & my thoughts go out to the family. But the Police are dammed if they do ( close the roads ) and dammed if they don't (open them). Who'd be a copper. Nice But Dim
  • Score: 23

9:23am Tue 1 Jul 14

BarrHumbug says...

What happened to the New Forest Trust's scheme to fit reflective collars to livestock within the park? I'm guessing this horse wasn't wearing one as it would have made it easier for the police to find it and for the motorists to see it?

Where was the police helicopter? It could have easily picked out the horse with its cameras? If a chav steals a moped and joy rides it around the park you get a dozen squad cars and the helicopter on the scene within minutes, i guess searching for a horse on the dual carriageway isn't as exciting?
What happened to the New Forest Trust's scheme to fit reflective collars to livestock within the park? I'm guessing this horse wasn't wearing one as it would have made it easier for the police to find it and for the motorists to see it? Where was the police helicopter? It could have easily picked out the horse with its cameras? If a chav steals a moped and joy rides it around the park you get a dozen squad cars and the helicopter on the scene within minutes, i guess searching for a horse on the dual carriageway isn't as exciting? BarrHumbug
  • Score: -6

9:56am Tue 1 Jul 14

mmmmmmm says...

So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see.

Someone else's fault as ever.
So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see. Someone else's fault as ever. mmmmmmm
  • Score: 13

10:02am Tue 1 Jul 14

jimbob32 says...

What it doesn’t say is that a helicopter was requested - AFTER they let the traffic go, so they obviously thought that there was still a high enough risk to request the helicopter and spend all that public money!! But they had to stand it down to minutes later due to a 'tragic accident'
What it doesn’t say is that a helicopter was requested - AFTER they let the traffic go, so they obviously thought that there was still a high enough risk to request the helicopter and spend all that public money!! But they had to stand it down to minutes later due to a 'tragic accident' jimbob32
  • Score: -1

10:13am Tue 1 Jul 14

jimbob32 says...

mmmmmmm wrote:
So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see. Someone else's fault as ever.
The bikers were told to go slowly through the cones - (no reason given) which they did, after the cones they accelerated to between 60-70mph.
Would you not speed up, if you though the road was safe?
You should read the other press reports for the inquest and the ones when the accident happened before you comment.
Remember there is a family at the end of this.
[quote][p][bold]mmmmmmm[/bold] wrote: So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see. Someone else's fault as ever.[/p][/quote]The bikers were told to go slowly through the cones - (no reason given) which they did, after the cones they accelerated to between 60-70mph. Would you not speed up, if you though the road was safe? You should read the other press reports for the inquest and the ones when the accident happened before you comment. Remember there is a family at the end of this. jimbob32
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Tue 1 Jul 14

warehamguy says...

RIP

Don't attack the police though. They do a fab job. Can't close all the roads because of one stray pony!
RIP Don't attack the police though. They do a fab job. Can't close all the roads because of one stray pony! warehamguy
  • Score: 13

2:47pm Tue 1 Jul 14

suzigirl says...

jimbob32 wrote:
mmmmmmm wrote: So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see. Someone else's fault as ever.
The bikers were told to go slowly through the cones - (no reason given) which they did, after the cones they accelerated to between 60-70mph. Would you not speed up, if you though the road was safe? You should read the other press reports for the inquest and the ones when the accident happened before you comment. Remember there is a family at the end of this.
Totally agree - tragic accident.........
[quote][p][bold]jimbob32[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mmmmmmm[/bold] wrote: So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see. Someone else's fault as ever.[/p][/quote]The bikers were told to go slowly through the cones - (no reason given) which they did, after the cones they accelerated to between 60-70mph. Would you not speed up, if you though the road was safe? You should read the other press reports for the inquest and the ones when the accident happened before you comment. Remember there is a family at the end of this.[/p][/quote]Totally agree - tragic accident......... suzigirl
  • Score: 8

2:49pm Tue 1 Jul 14

suzigirl says...

Ragwin wrote:
Huey wrote: Curse those horses. Get rid of them and get into the 21st century
A better idea would be to ban motorbikes. One our MP's should introduce a Parliamentary Bill to have these death machines removed from the roads once and forever.
Ban bicycles as well then!
[quote][p][bold]Ragwin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Huey[/bold] wrote: Curse those horses. Get rid of them and get into the 21st century[/p][/quote]A better idea would be to ban motorbikes. One our MP's should introduce a Parliamentary Bill to have these death machines removed from the roads once and forever.[/p][/quote]Ban bicycles as well then! suzigirl
  • Score: -9

4:48pm Tue 1 Jul 14

MotorbikeSam says...

mmmmmmm wrote:
So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see.

Someone else's fault as ever.
at last a comment that makes sense..
When I learnt to drive I was taught not to drive at a speed faster than I could stop in the distance I can see...
the bikers were warned of the danger and being a biker surely they new what the results would be if they hit that horse so being intelligent bikers they would not have exceeded about 40mph but I guess you could double that knowing how most bikers ride.
[quote][p][bold]mmmmmmm[/bold] wrote: So the bikers knew the road was potentially dangerous,and stiil rode so that they couldn't stop in the distance they could see. Someone else's fault as ever.[/p][/quote]at last a comment that makes sense.. When I learnt to drive I was taught not to drive at a speed faster than I could stop in the distance I can see... the bikers were warned of the danger and being a biker surely they new what the results would be if they hit that horse so being intelligent bikers they would not have exceeded about 40mph but I guess you could double that knowing how most bikers ride. MotorbikeSam
  • Score: 4

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