Man who crashed car into tree near Shifnal took his own life, coroner rules

A man who crashed his car into a tree deliberately took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

Robert Malcolm Yorke, aged 51, died when his Vauxhall Corsa VXR collided with a tree on the B4379 at Sheriffhales, near Shifnal, on January 12 this year.

An inquest into Mr Yorke's death at Shirehall in Shrewsbury heard that West Mercia Police were called to the road shortly after 7am. CPR was commenced but Mr Yorke was confirmed dead by paramedics a short time later.

A post mortem was carried out and found that Mr Yorke, of Pinfold, Sheriffhales, had a moderate level of pregabalin - a drug to treat anxiety and epilepsy - in his system. The medical cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries.

A collision investigator found the road was in "reasonable" condition, and there was no evidence to suggest Mr Yorke made any attempts to steer away from the tree or activate the brakes. No witnesses were present.

Mr Yorke's sister, Claire Caddick, said that her brother had "always struggled with his mental health".

John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said he was "satisfied on the balance of probability" that Mr Yorke deliberately drove into the tree to kill himself, and recorded a conclusion of suicide.

*If you have been affected by this story you can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit

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