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HOW MANY MUST DIE ON A338?
A WIDOWER has called for urgent improvements to be made to a major road where his wife lost her life in a head-on crash – just two months after their dream Caribbean wedding.
Nick and Carol Jeal, of Ringwood, decided to tie the knot on the tropical island paradise of the Dominican Republic after being together for nearly 20 years.
But eleven days ago, 50-year-old supermarket worker Mrs Jeal was killed on the A338 just south of the Downton traffic lights on her way home from work in Salisbury.
Heartbroken Mr Jeal, 54, told the Daily Echo: “I believe Carol was the fifth person this year to die on that road. How many more people are going to have to die before something is done about it?
See where the other crashes have happened on the A338 with our interactive map and timeline. If you have trouble viewing, click the 'view in Dipity' link in the top right corner for a full screen version.
“The road is full of potholes and bends. It’s not wide enough and is not suitable for the amount of heavy goods lorries that go up and down it.”
Mrs Jeal will be dressed in her wedding outfit for her funeral in Salisbury Crematorium at 1.30pm on Thursday. Her ashes are to be buried in the churchyard opposite the home of her parents, Nigel and Sylvia Laws, in Netherhampton, Wiltshire.
“I had been asking her to get married for years, but she was happy as she was,” recalled Mr Jeal, a night manager at Tesco in Blandford. “We went to book a holiday and while we were in the travel agent’s, I asked about wedding packages.
“I’m grateful that she said yes. I expected to go before she did. I wanted everything settled and to know that she would be looked after if anything happened to me.
“We kept it quiet and didn’t even tell her parents. She didn’t want any fuss. It was lovely. We got married in a pagoda in the grounds of the hotel.”
Mrs Jeal was born at Milton Abbas in Dorset, where her father was working on a farm. The family moved to Wiltshire when Mr Laws took a job with the Pembroke Estate. She is survived by her two younger sisters, Nina and Dawn.
Although she trained as a hairdresser, Mrs Jeal had been working at Tesco in Salisbury for nearly 30 years and met her future husband there. The couple got engaged after two months and had lived together in Ringwood ever since.
“We didn’t argue or fight. We were very well-suited. We liked going out for meals and travelling – we were due to go back to Mexico next year for our first anniversary,” said Mr Jeal.
He heard there had been an accident while he was on his way home from work. “I got home and her car wasn’t here. I knew then that she had been involved. A neighbour said the police had been looking for me.
“I got in my car and managed to talk the police into letting me through. I identified her at the scene. I’m not sorry I saw her, but it’s an image I will never forget.”
An inquest into Mrs Jeal’s death has been opened and adjourned at Salisbury. The driver of the other car, a BMW saloon, is still in hospital.