New wall approved at site of tragic accident

TRAGEDY: The scene of the crash in which David Cox was killed.
TRAGEDY: The scene of the crash in which David Cox was killed.

PEAK District National Park Authority members have given the go-ahead for the construction of a dry stone wall at the scene of a fatal accident three weeks ago.

Councillors approved the authority’s application - which had been submitted two weeks before the accident - for a five-metre retaining wall alongside a Monsal Trail access track next to the River Wye, where two cars belonging to the same family crashed into the river on January 24. One of the drivers, David Cox, 42, sadly died.

At a meeting last Friday, members heard that the wall was needed to prevent further erosion of the river bank. Background papers said: “The need for this work has arisen as a matter of urgency as the single track access that runs parallel to the bank top is eroding.

“Any further erosion will make this track impassable.

“The unconsolidated and friable nature of the bank is resulting in localised erosion and a rapid and permanent solution to the problem is required.”

Cllr David Chapman said: “I’m sure members are aware of the importance and significance of this stretch of road at the moment because this is the site of a very tragic accident where two family cars went into the river and one person died.”

The wall will be constructed on part of the access track and public right of way that leads from the Wyedale car park to Blackwell Mill Cottages.

No objections were received from the Environment Agency or Natural England, councillors were told.

However, after receiving correspondence from locals about the application, the authority have now agreed that work will not start on the site until discussions have taken place between the authority and residents, with a meeting due to take place in the next couple of weeks.

Mr Cox was taking his 11-year-old daughter Tess to school just after 8.30am on January 24 when his Toyota Aygo left the path and entered the river.

Five minutes later, his wife Ruth was taking her nine-year-old son Ioan to school when her Toyota Rav4 also left the path and crashed into the river.

Both vehicles overturned but Mrs Cox and the children managed to escape to safety. Tess and Ioan then ran back to the Blackwell Mill Cottages to raise the alarm.

Local residents and a police officer entered the water to release Mr Cox from his vehicle and he was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, but sadly later died.

His funeral is tomorrow (Friday) at the New Chapel, Manchester Crematorium at 2.15pm.