Tributes paid to van driver who died after crashing into Kirkby bridge

Family members each chose a single word tribute to van driver who died when he crashed into a bridge on a mystery trip from his home in Kirkby.

Painter and decorator Joshua Cheetham was three times the drink-drive limit and had also taken cocaine before the crash on December 22.

The 22-year-old was not wearing a seat belt and died from multiple injuries. (Picture: Google)

The 22-year-old was not wearing a seat belt and died from multiple injuries. (Picture: Google)

The 22-year-old was not wearing a seat belt and died from multiple injuries. A friend was in the passenger seat of the works van, wore a seat belt and emerged with serious injuries.

At a Nottingham inquest on Friday, assistant coroner Lisa Morris gave a conclusion of death by road traffic collision.

She read a statement from Joshua's mother Emma Wood who said that people had been asked to pick one word to sum him up. These included: "selfless, cheeky, lovable, kind, loving, caring, unique, funny, legend, playful, quiet."

READ MORE: Young man dies after crashing into Kirkby bridge
His mum's statement included the comment: "I would always say 'Love you. Behave.' He would say 'I always do.'

"He loved spending time with his family, enjoyed birthday parties, taking part in martial arts with his brothers."

He made daily visits to hospital when his sister was having a kidney transplant and his mother was the donor. He always brought "cake and kisses."

The inquest was told that Mr Cheetham had been out with friends in Mansfield on December 21. One said that he was so drunk that he could not count his money in a club and had "white powder."

READ MORE: Men charged following reports of bricks thrown at cars on Mansfield street
He returned home to Ashwood Avenue, Kirkby-in-Ashfield but went out in the Vauxhall van, crashing after less than two miles.

It mounted the pavement on Lane End, which has a 30mph limit, and ran into a railway bridge.

Police constable Emma Thacker said the van was going at 57mph shortly before the crash. It was fitted with a 60mph limiter and struck the bridge at 46mph.

The vehicle was fitted with equipment to log the driving. It recorded: "harsh cornering, harsh steering, harsh braking."

PC Thacker said there were no mechanical problems on the vehicle, no problems with the road surface. It was "damp but not icy." She said the collision was "attributed to Joshua's driving."

She said that the police investigation had been unable to discover why he decided to go out in the van after returning home.

The coroner said that Mr Cheetham's alcohol reading was more than three times the legal limit. Cocaine was also found in his body.

He died from multiple injuries and the "toxic effect of cocaine and alcohol."