Parents speak of ‘devastation’ after son, 22, killed crossing busy road with dog
A 22-year-old man who was killed while crossing a dual-carriageway with his dog was “the most resilient person”, his family said during an inquest.
Daniel Klepper, 22, tried to cross the 60mph St Helens Linkway in Rainhill, Merseyside, on November 7, 2018, when he ventured down the fast-moving road.
The garage attendant, from Rainhill, then hesitated and tragically stepped back into the traffic, Bootle Town Hall heard.
Toxicology tests have shown he wasn’t under the influence of any drinks or drugs when the tragedy occurred.
Daniel was rushed to Whiston Hospital at about 6pm but was pronounced dead, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Witnesses told the inquest there was not much the vehicles could’ve done to avoid hitting Daniel on the busy road.
After his death, his devastated family paid tribute to the “Karaoke King” and described him as “the most resilient person you could ever meet.”
The inquest heard he was struck by a white Citroen car, near to the junction with Chapel Lane, while a number of witness statements were read out.
One motorist said he believed the Citroen driver was “driving correctly,” adding: “I don’t believe she could have done anything.”
Another driver said: “The lad had nowhere to go [after crossing into centre of road], it would have been a miracle if he hadn’t been hit.”
The inquest heard how Daniel appeared to have been wearing headphones, but constable Paul Clark said it was unclear if he was listening to anything at the time.
Coroner Julie Goulding said the Crown Prosecution Service had decided no criminal proceedings were necessary.
PC Clark added: “It’s a very difficult road to cross… you have to be very careful.”
Daniel’s dog, Benson, was uninjured and was returned to his family.
His mum told coroner Ms Goulding: “I’ve lost a son.
“If anything comes after this, maybe anything positive, if there’s a chance that crossing could be changed.
“I do think the road in inherently dangerous, no other roads have such crossings, could anything be done from the coroner’s court that could help to change that?”
Ms Goulding said Daniel died of a severe blunt force head injury, and recorded a conclusion of accident.
In a statement released after the fatal accident, Daniel’s family said: “We are absolutely devastated that our amazing son Dan Klepper is no longer with us.
“Dan was walking his beloved dog, Benson.
“He was funny, kind, creative, the most resilient person you could ever meet, Karaoke King and totally bonkers.
“Dan: you were loved so much, you touched so many lives and will never be forgotten.”