Woman went to help at crash scene – and found victim was her husband — (The Bristol Post)

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The Bristol Post

By The Bristol Post   

Posted: March 25, 2013

A WOMAN who rushed to comfort witnesses to a fatal car crash near her home discovered the victim was her husband.

An inquest heard Lisa Hackett took drinks to people who had stopped after a Ford Fiesta crashed head-on with a lorry on the A37 near Clutton last September.

But she went into shock when she recognised the car as that of her husband Colin, who had been killed.   Witnesses said Mr Hackett, who lived in Featherbed Lane, close to the scene of the accident, veered across the road into the path of the truck.

Assistant deputy coroner Terence Moore, who recorded a verdict of accidental death at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court, said there was no clear explanation as to why Mr Hackett had swerved into the lorry.

The 45-year-old was heading south between the Chelwood roundabout and Clutton when the accident happened at about 2.25pm on September 19 last year.

Graham Argust, 61, a waste disposal driver for Bristol City Council, was driving a 32-tonne lorry in the opposite direction. In a statement read out in court, Mr Argust said: “The car suddenly swerved across the road into the lorry. It appeared to swerve for no apparent reason.”

The lorry driver said he had no time to react and the impact was so severe it lifted his vehicle in the air.

The car ended up behind the lorry and burst into flames, with witnesses having to put out the fire.   Mr Argust added: “A woman brought drinks for the witnesses but suddenly went in to shock when she recognised the car.”

The court heard the woman was Mr Hackett’s wife, who was aided by police at the scene.

Driver Gary Paterson witnessed the crash and rushed to help. He said: “I could see a male driver trapped in the car. He was motionless and silent. I couldn’t feel a pulse or any breathing. He was trapped by the mangled wreckage.”

Stephen Heratt had witnessed Mr Hackett “swerving from side to side” on the road before overtaking him in his lorry moments before the crash.   He said: “He had his left hand up against his ear and it appeared he was using a mobile phone.”

Investigating the accident, DC Mark Stedman said evidence showed Mr Argust was driving in a “proper and correct manner” but for “reasons unknown and without warning” Mr Hackett had swerved into him.

He stressed that there was no evidence to suggest a mobile phone was being used by Mr Hackett.   Mr Hackett, who had a history of depression, had three times the therapeutic level of antidepressant mirtazapine in his blood.  Mr Moore said the drug could cause dizziness, confusion and anxiety but said there was no evidence to prove it helped cause the crash.