A man who died after crashing head-on into a skip lorry could have been suffering the effects of a long cocaine binge, an inquest has heard.
Ian Reed, 48, from Bourne, died instantly after his white Vauxhall Corsa hit a Scania lorry being driven by Neil Gay on the A15 just outside Market Deeping on April 16.
At an inquest into his death at Stamford Town Hall yesterday, coroner Professor Robert Forrest determined that the crash in which Mr Reed died could have had several causes, but no-one would ever know exactly what happened.
He said Mr Reed could have fallen asleep, could have been distracted by his dog in the passenger seat or could have intended to kill himself, perhaps due to the pressure of an upcoming criminal trial.
The inquest heard Mr Reed had a history of drug use and had been taking cocaine for several days before the crash. The day before the crash he told a close friend that he had a little of the drug left, and would stop using it once that was gone.
The friend saw Mr Reed on the morning of the crash. The inquest heard that Mr Reed seemed as if he hadn’t slept in several days. The friend asked him to take a shower and go to bed. When she returned at 1pm Mr Reed was asleep. Four hours later he was involved in the crash that killed him.
Chris Barrett told the inquest he had been following Mr Reed’s car south on the A15 from the Elsea Park roundabout in Bourne that afternoon. He said the car was driving slowly, about 45mph, and seemed to be overly cautious through Baston. The accident happened just before the roundabout with the A1175 at Market Deeping.
“All of a sudden out of nowhere the Corsa moved across the road towards the skip lorry,” he said. “The skip lorry tried to move as best it could but there was an impact and the car almost exploded.“
The crash happened in the northbound lane. Neil Gay, from Sleaford, who was driving the skip lorry, said he couldn’t avoid the Corsa.
Mr Gay said he briefly saw Mr Reed with his hands on the steering wheel and his head looking downwards.
A post-mortem examination found he had cocaine in his system. Mr Reed died of multiple injuries. His dog also died.
The inquest heard that Mr Reed was due to face trial at Lincoln Crown Court in July on a charge of possession with intent to supply. According to friends he thought he would go to prison and was depressed and paranoid as a result.
Determining that Mr Reed’s death was due to a road traffic collision, the coroner said: “I don’t think any of us are ever going to know exactly what happened.”