First Posted on Antidepaware.co.uk
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QUESTIONS will remain unanswered as to how a man came to his death after his vehicle was found in an agricultural drain.
Assistant deputy coroner Paul Smith recorded the death of 35-year-old Richard Andrew Collins as an accident, following an inquest at Spilsby.
Mr Collins, of Skegness, died from multiple injuries when he was in a single-vehicle collision on the A1104 in Mablethorpe at West Bank Drain on October 16 last year.
It is believed the accident happened at around 2.10am
Evidence heard at the inquest indicated that Mr Collins left the carriageway, travelled along 30metres of verge before colliding with a fence.
He then travelled a further 22metres on harrowed field before the car hit the back of the drain and then came to rest in the water.
PC Mark Brown, collision investigator for Lincolnshire Police, said there was no evidence of any harsh steering or braking by Mr Collins.
He said that the distance travelled was indicative with being of a high speed at the time of the collision.
In giving his verdict, assistant deputy coroner Paul Smith said: “Even though there is no evidence of any deliberate steering or braking, that does not imply this was a deliberate act. I have seen many cases where people simply drop off to sleep. The faster one travels, the less time to put right the error. There is just no firm evidence as to why he left the road.”
Mr Collins’ vehicle, a Ford Mondeo, was found just before 8am after it was spotted by Michael Cooper, a taxi driver with Acorn Taxis.
He had been driving a mini-bus on his usual escorted school run when he saw the damaged fence and then the car in the drain.
Mr Cooper said it was only due to being higher up in the mini-bus that he was able to see the car from Earl’s Bridge.
Between May 2011 and September 2012, Mr Collins was employed at a model shop in Skegness and was well regarded by his employer, Trevor Walton. He described him as a very quiet person who never spoke about his personal life but was extremely conscientious when at work.
On September 12, Mr Collins handed in his notice unexpectedly. His employer tried to persuade him to reconsider and he came to the view that Mr Collins was troubled by something.
Mr Collins’ medical records showed that in September, he was referred to the community mental health team by his GP and prescribed medication.
He also had attended at Skegness Hospital who suspected he had taken an overdose of his prescribed medication – a claim he always denied.
A toxicology report following his death showed a consistent therapeutic level of his prescribed drug and alcohol which was consistent with minor recent alcohol consumption.