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Complainant Name:
Mrs K Walton

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Lancashire Telegraph

Complaint:

Mrs K Walton complained that a report on a road accident in which her son had died claimed that the car he was driving had “crossed into the opposite side of the carriageway” which may have misled readers to believe he was the cause of the crash. She said no information had been released about the accident as the inquest was not due until the end of the year.

Resolution:

The newspaper apologised that the report had caused the complainant distress and sought to explain that the information under dispute had been provided by the police. The newspaper assured the complainant that her concerns had been discussed thoroughly and it had been emphasised to appropriate staff that any speculation or comment about the cause of an accident or crime should always be specifically attributed.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following apology:


A front page report of a fatal accident on the A59 on October 1 stated that one of the two vehicles involved, a Nissan Vanette being driven by Daniel Robert Walton, had 'crossed into the opposite side of the carriageway.'


We would like to clarify that this statement reflected the stated opinion of police officers at the time.


It was not intended to apportion any blame for the accident, which will be publicly examined at an inquest next month into the death of Mr Walton.


We would like to apologise for any upset caused to Daniel's family by our original report.

Report: 78



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