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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 19:39 GMT
Crash footballer 'was speeding'
Steve Finnan
Steve Finnan moved to Liverpool FC ahead of the 2003/04 season
Liverpool footballer Steve Finnan was travelling at almost twice the speed limit before his vehicle hit a pensioner, an inquest has heard.

Henry Nelson, 81, from Liverpool, died five weeks after being struck by the defender's Range Rover on 27 January.

Crash investigator Pc Paul Hulme told the city's coroner that the vehicle was travelling at 58mph in the 30mph zone.

Mr Finnan, 29, was held on suspicion of dangerous driving but was not charged. A narrative verdict was recorded.

It has gone through my mind plenty of times, certainly there is nothing I feel I could have done
Steve Finnan
Mr Nelson died from pneumonia brought about due to immobility, caused by the severe leg fractures and head injuries he had suffered, the court was told.

The Republic of Ireland footballer expressed his sympathy to Mr Nelson's family who attended Liverpool Coroner's Court on Thursday.

He was asked by the dead man's nephew, Peter Nelson, whether he could have done anything to avoid the accident.

Mr Finnan said: "It has gone through my mind plenty of times, certainly there is nothing I feel I could have done.

"It must be a very difficult time for yourself as it has been in a different way for me and my family.

"I don't feel responsible and there's nothing I could do."

Player swerved

Earlier, the court heard from taxi driver Steven Maylor who said he was driving at between 32 and 35mph on West Derby Road, Liverpool, when Mr Finnan's Range Rover glided past.

But he said Mr Finnan had swerved to avoid the pensioner, and he felt the player had done all he could to avoid him.

Recording his verdict, coroner Andre Rebello suggested that Merseyside Police only mounted a serious investigation after Mr Nelson's death.

"I think all right thinking people, particularly citizens of Liverpool, would expect any serious road collision to be investigated from when it occurs," he said.

"It is only when this tragedy turned into a fatality that the baton was picked up and officers tried their best to sort out the evidence, but evidence never improves with keeping it."

Mr Rebello stated that Mr Finnan had not been found guilty of any offence.

No crash charges for footballer
11 Oct 05 |  Merseyside
Footballer gives inquest evidence
03 Oct 05 |  Merseyside

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