Festival tribute to popular musician
A POPULAR musician who died last year after being knocked down by a car will have a stage named in his honour at this year s Rhythms of The World music festival. An inquest heard last week how 40-year-old Phillip Edwards, better known as Phill Friendly, w
A POPULAR musician who died last year after being knocked down by a car will have a stage named in his honour at this year's Rhythms of The World music festival.
An inquest heard last week how 40-year-old Phillip Edwards, better known as Phill Friendly, was working as a refuse collector on the morning of July 5 when he stepped from behind the parked dustcart and was in collision with an oncoming car.
Phill, a father and keen guitarist from Bucklersbury, Hitchin, was taken from the scene of the accident, on Kimpton Road near the junction with Ballslough Hill, to Lister Hospital.
He died on July 12 from head injuries and trauma only days before the start of RoTW, an event he helped to organise.
Speaking at the inquest, the driver of the dustcart Shane Sparrow said he pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road and Mr Edwards got out to collect bins nearby. A number of vehicles stopped behind the dustcart.
When Mr Edwards stepped out from the rear of the vehicle attempting to cross the road he was hit by a green Volvo.
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The driver of the Volvo, Christopher Fossey, said: "As I pulled on to the High Street I saw a dustcart coming the other way and it was slowing to stop.
"I was going at a steady pace. When I first saw him he was almost level with the front of my car."
Robert Johnson, the driver of a white Nissan van which stopped behind the dustcart, said that before crossing the road Mr Edwards had looked to the right and was checking to his left in the direction of the Volvo as he stepped out.
Accident investigation officer Pc Brian Gamble, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, said the speed of the Volvo was not exceeding 21mph at the time of the impact and Mr Fossey swerved to avoid the impact.
The inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
As a tribute to Mr Edwards it has been revealed that the RoTW dance and DJ stage on Bancroft will this year be called the Phill Friendly stage.
Bob Mardon, the man behind RoTW, said: "His family and friends are creating drapes and a backdrop using designs that are very pertinent to the man.
"He has left a big hole in our extended family."
Mr Edwards' family issued a statement thanking his work colleagues, paramedics, a man who accompanied him to Lister and staff at the hospital.
It said: "Special thanks to every friend of Phill Friendly for all their love, kindness and hugs they have supplied and extended to us and each other. It is a true family that Phill will be proud of.