I wanted to approach this route logically from my home driving in a loop rather than hopping from location to location. I also wanted to approach the scenes as near to the time of day that the original fatal collision occurred and with a consistent light throughout the sequence of photographs. I hoped that this would recreate what the lighting was like at the time and the traffic conditions.
The news reports were precise, some quoted the defendants at trial in the case of Kyle Coen the driver Robert Lawrence said, “it all happened so quickly. I thought I was going to miss him” (Kyle Coen death, 2013). I thought about my own safety visiting each location especially as I use a powered wheelchair. This was not going to be a case of just stopping and taking a few photographs I needed to plan safe places to park and stand to take the photographs that would eventually create my final set of images, which after discussing with my tutor has increased from the required 10 photographs.
From a driver’s perspective I could place my camera on the driver’s side of the dash and take photographs as I moved through the scene or alternatively download my dash cam and edit frame by frame, but I felt that it would not include any obstructed view from the ‘a’ pillar. So I dismissed this idea. However, when I reviewed the footage it clearly illustrated David’s point that an uneventful road can become eventful even on a routine drive. I did place the camera on the dashboard at the final location as I felt it reflected what it must have been like as a driver viewing the scene.
The night photography left me few options so using long exposures created movement in an otherwise static scene and like Weston’s work I stopped the exposure at the moment the light stopped at the crash and life changed for all those involved.
These were all cases of a decisive moment that would have fatal consequences. This brought me to the question which was posed in Exercise 5.3 of HCB’s Behind the Gare Saint-Lazareand Sugimoto’s work. Was too much information useful? Would too much light end up with a nothingness? If I overexposed the entire scene would the message be conveyed? I would be left with a mass of light trails or blur from the traffic would this confuse the viewer?
What was the pivotal moment to be in my composition? I thought about these questions for quite a while but cast my mind back to my old policing days. What indeed is the pivotal moment in any collision? That is really hard to say when investigating any collision but there are usually marks or impressions left on the road surface or points of contact. These would have been long lost and the only traces of what would or could possibly be left e.g. a bent sign. My best guess was based on the information available to me e.g. archive newspaper photos.
I then set about creating a map and marked each of the 5 locations with a red dot, which can be viewed here. I dated them with the date of the collision/death. I have not included this in the final printed book. The reason being I wanted the journey to be the focus and locations speak for themselves rather than a map.
For the benefit of those reading the blog I have included the news articles for each collision. These also appear in the order of the journey starting from my home to the end of the A2. These are articles taken directly from the Kent Messenger website.
29thApril 2004 at 0230
Two die in A2 horror crash
A WOMAN and a man died early today after two cars were in collision on the A2 near Faversham.
The victims were in a Subaru which careered into high voltage electricity pole and crashed into a house after hitting the other car. Kent Police say the woman died at the scene. The man died later at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.
Both are thought to have lived locally. The tragedy occurred close to the Norton Nurseries, between Faversham and Teynham at about 2.30am.
Seven years for Ashley Howard, Teynham death crash driver who killed two friends crashing into Jubilee Pump
A speeding driver who lost control of his car and caused the death of two friends in the early hours of New Year’s Day has been jailed for seven years.
A judge said Ashley Howard, who had no licence or insurance, must have been travelling at a “grossly excessive” speed when he crashed.
Howard, 23, admitted two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving to another passenger.
13thFebruary 2016 at 1015 am
Teynham accident: London Road reopens after major accident
A cyclist in her 70s has died after colliding with a delivery lorry in Teynham – just yards from where two friends were killed on New Year’s Day. The driver has been arrested.
Police, fire, medics and the air ambulance were called to London Road near the junction of Lynsted Lane about 10.15am.
It is believed the woman was knocked off her bike by a lorry, believed to be delivering goods to the nearby Co-op.
30th July 2012 at 9pm
Kyle Coen death in Bapchild was tragic accident: Inquest
A tragic accident. That’s how coroner Patricia Harding described the death of teenager Kyle Coen.
An inquest held at County Hall, Maidstone, heard how the 14-year-old was cycling with his friend Steven Parker along London Road towards Teynham around 9pm on July 30 last year.
Tributes to motorcyclist Andrew Beaney after he died in crash on A2 between Bapchild and Teynham
The loved ones of a motorcyclist who died in a crash on the A2 have paid-tribute to a “loving family man”.
Andrew David Beaney, who lived in Sittingbourne, was killed when his blue and silver Suzuki motorcycle collided with a silver Volkswagen Jetta between Bapchild and Teynham yesterday morning.
Emergency crews including police and the air ambulance were called, but the father-of-four could not be saved.
31stOctober 2014 at 4.30pm
Teynham crash victim named as Craig Huggett of Minster
The family of a 31-year-old motorcyclist who died after a crash in Teynham on Halloween has paid tribute to a “happy and cheerful” man.
Craig Huggett, of Minster, on the Isle of Sheppey, died when his Suzuki bike crashed with an Audi in Lower Road on Friday at around 4.30pm.