A young Farnsfield man died in a freak crash on the MARR Route after swerving into oncoming traffic, a coroner has told.
The Inquest into the death of Farnsfield man Daniel Haggett found that the garden machinery worker had a cup of coffee in his hand as he crashed, which could have been a factor if he had spilled it before suddenly swerving into an oncoming lorry.
But Senior Coroner Mairin Casey said at Nottingham Council House on April 11 that there was no way to know, and in the ‘tragic case’ she could offer no explanation to his family, reading a verdict of ‘road traffic collision’.
Daniel, 21, who worked for TSW Services Ltd in Woodborough, was travelling along the A617 in a gold Ford Focus when the car swerved into the other side of the road and collided with a lorry.
The HGV driver, Mark Corway, also suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries after he was left unconscious in his cab, which overturned onto its front.
A post-mortem examination by consultant pathologist Dr Philip Kaye found there were no signs of any ‘organic’ factors such as a heart attack played any role in the collision.
The coroner said: “His injuries were extensive. The belt was done up, there was no alcohol present.
“There was evidence that there had been some prior use of cannabis, but it is very difficult to analyse what difference that made if any.”
PC Steven Farrell, forensic collision investigator at Nottinghamshire Police, told the inquest his team found no mechanical failures of environmental factors, such as bad weather or sun glare to cause the crash.
He added: “Unfortunately we’re not able to come to a conclusion about the exact cause of what lead to this collision.”
The officer told from the HGV driver’s witness statement: “Mr Corway described that it happened quite suddenly – it was so quick he didn’t have any chance to avoid the collision. Forensic evidence suggests he did take action to try and avoid it.”
Other witnesses described the swerve into the oncoming lane as a ‘sharp turn’.
Daniel spent the days leading up to the incident on November 24 with friends, who said he was “his usual, laid back happy self.”
In her closing remarks Miss Casey told the hearing: “This is a desperately tragic case. There is no suggestion he was a reckless or dangerous driver.”
Nor was he a ‘boy-racer’, the coroner added. “For some unexplainable reason he diverted from the lane he was in and collided with an HGV.
Questions remain over coffee cup Daniel held as he died
Mystery shall continue to surround the incident as there were a number of witnesses who saw the crash but none could pinpoint why Mr Haggett swerved into the other side of the road.
Daniel had a coffee cup in the car, and crash investigator Steven Farrell said the “presence of the coffee cup would be a plausible explanation. It was in his hand.”
The coroner suggested: “It could have caused a splash, something minor of that type.”
“We might surmise that it was possibly the coffee cup, that he may have spilled it. He could have been tuning his radio, we simply do not know.”
“All we know is there is a dreadful collision. There is no explanation that may help you to comprehend what happened. All I can do is extend my sincerest condolences.”