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Ellesmere van driver crashed into lorry, inquest told

Oswestry | News | Published:

A van driver died after crashing into a parked lorry on the A5 in Shropshire, an inquest was told.

Andrew Hughes, 35, of Ellesmere, died following a collision close to the Gledrid roundabout on the Oswestry bypass on December 17 last year.

Mr Hughes was pronounced dead at the scene after a collision between his white Citroen Berlingo van and a lorry.

The inquest, held at Shirehall in Shrewsbury yesterday, heard the lorry was parked in a lay-by and eyewitness accounts saw Mr Hughes drive into the back of the lorry. Ian Geoffrey Slater, giving evidence, was driving behind Mr Hughes.

He said: "I saw a white van come off the carriageway in front and drive straight into the stationary vehicle in the lay-by.

"We were all driving about 50/60mph and I did not see any brake lights or an indicator on the van."

Paul James Conde was also driving in the line of traffic. He said: "I was a couple of hundred yards behind Mr Slater.

"I saw a white van pull off and go straight off the road at the same speed.

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"I did not see anything in the road that would cause him to swerve."

Zoe O'Leary, who knew Mr Hughes, said he had indicated he wanted to kill himself in the run up to his death.

She told the inquest: "Two weeks prior to his death he had sent me a text message saying he was on a train track and he wanted to take his own life. I did not know if he was capable of doing it but told him about the services he could use to get help. He had been struggling with alcohol issues."

Constable Ross Ashmore, of West Mercia Police, said the evidence suggested Mr Hughes steered off the road deliberately into the lorry.

He said: "We found no defects in the vehicle. We found no brake or steering marks and no seatbelt was worn by the driver."

John Ellery, coroner for Shropshire and the Telford & Wrekin area, recorded a verdict of suicide.

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