Man Killed Crossing A27 Was Homeless

Three pedestrians killed on the same stretch of road in West Sussex the last two months were all homeless.

Lithuanian national Sigitas Jagminas, 61, died when he was hit by a white Ford Focus on the eastbound carriageway of the A27 in Chichester at about 5.30pm on Friday January 20th, a Sussex Police spokeswoman said.

He is the third person to have been killed on the road since December 2, she added.

Sigitas Juozapaitis, 54, also a Lithuanian national, died when he was hit by a white Ford Transit van on December 2.

Three days later, Kenneth Sherwood, 39, was killed by a Mazda MX5 as he crossed the dual carriageway.

Mr Juozapaitis and Mr Sherwood were both staying at a homeless hostel, St Joseph's, in nearby Hunston Road, which has started another campaign for road safety improvements and adequate crossings on the A27.

Mr Jagminas is also believed to have been staying at the hostel when he was killed.

Stonepillow, which runs the hostel, said in a statement:

''Yet again, due to inadequate safe crossing points on the A27, another innocent person was killed trying to cross the busy road in order to reach a safe place to stay that night.

''Our previous road safety campaign obtained over 300 signatures of support when two other clients were also tragically killed when trying to cross the A27 at the Hunston roundabout.

''We are now calling on everyone to help Stonepillow to continue this campaign until the Highways Agency takes appropriate action.

''Stonepillow has written to the Highways Agency expressing its condemnation at the inadequate safety measures and that they need to take action now.''

Sussex Police said officers had visited the area and provided people who are living near the road with high visibility jackets.

There is an encampment of tents on the other side of the A27, used by homeless people who are unable to get into the hostel, police said.

Inspector Kris Ottery, from the neighbourhood response team, said:

''We have talked to the homeless community about the dangers of crossing the main A27 road between the Whyke and Stockbridge roundabouts.

''Thanks to the generosity of Covers, Halfords, Homebase, Jewsons and Tesco, we have been able to provide fluorescent jackets that will make a big difference to them being seen by drivers.''

Sergeant Melanie Doyle, from Sussex Road Policing Investigation Team, said: ''Police would like to encourage all pedestrians wishing to cross the A27 to do so at designated crossing points only, such as the pedestrian footbridge or the canal underpass.''

She said officers had been monitoring the road at night, ensuring that drivers were not breaking the speed limit.

She added that police had spoken to Chichester District Council and the Highways Agency to see if there were any measures which could be taken to prevent further deaths.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: ''We would like to express our sympathy to the families and friends of those involved in the recent tragic incidents on the A27 near Chichester. The safety of our roads is of utmost importance to us.

''The incidents in December were near the Whyke roundabout. The latest incident was near to the Stockbridge roundabout, in an area where there are crossing facilities.

''We have drawn up plans for a footbridge over the A27 near the Whyke roundabout, and we would be looking to bid for any available funds in the next financial year.

''We continue to work closely with the police and West Sussex County Council to see if any further measures can be taken in the short term to improve safety in the area.''

Any witnesses or anyone with information about the latest incident should call Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Anagram.