Mystery remains of fatal crash

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A CORONER has said it is a mystery why a motorist failed to slow down before pulling out of a junction and colliding with a lorry.

Maurice Fowler (72) died in King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after his Land Rover Freelander collided with a Volvo 400 lorry on the A17 at Walpole Cross Keys.

An inquest on Monday heard that retired builder Mr Fowler, of Walpole St Peter, made no attempt to slow down before pulling out of the Market Lane junction at 6.30am on August 31. He died in hospital almost three weeks later.

Coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of death as a result of a car accident but commended lorry driver Paul Lingwood for preventing further bloodshed.

The hearing at King’s Lynn’s heard Mr Lingwood kept his lorry upright as he tried to avoid oncoming trucks after crossing the central reservation to avoid the Freelander.

Mr Armstrong told Mr Lingwood there was nothing he could have done to avoid the accident.

He said: “It is very clear that if not for your expert driving there could have been further casualties as a result of what happened.”

Mr Lingwood told the hearing he was delivering 43 tonnes of turkey feed from Bawsey Mill to Louth, Lincolnshire, and had been travelling towards Sutton Bridge, when the accident happened.

He said the driver of the Freelander did not appear to see him or did not stop.

He tried to avoid the Land Rover by turning right on to the central reservation and avoided two lorries coming in the opposite direction.

Drivers Lawrence Murphy and Steven Cobley described how they thought the lorry was coming at them.

Mr Cobley said: “It missed us with inches to spare.”

Forensic investigator PC Wendy Frary told the hearing that the Freelander hit the lorry’s cab before hitting the unit.

PC Frary said: “I can only conclude that he either failed to see the lorry or having seen the Volvo misjudged his distance and speed.”

Evidence was also given by lorry driver Phillip Hanson, who was following Mr Lingwood.

He said that Mr Fowler was travelling at a normal speed but failed to slow down on reaching the junction.

In giving his verdict Mr Armstrong said: “It is a puzzle why Mr Fowler drove towards the main road, making no attempt to slow down. It is something that cannot be explained and remains a mystery.”