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Driver killed on A350 near Lacock had taken cannabis, inquest hears
Updated 6:48pm Friday 23rd May 2014 in Melksham
A factory worker killed on the A350 last year died instantly after his car span out of control into oncoming traffic, an inquest has heard.
37-year-old Jamie Bray, of Skylark Road, Melksham, was leaving his job as a cleaning supervisor at the Stone Gate egg processing plant in Lacock when he was killed on November 5.
An inquest into his death at Salisbury coroner’s court today heard how he had cannabis in his system which could have affected his reactions when his silver Rover 45 clipped the rear of a Mercedes heavy goods vehicle shortly after 6am.
This caused his car to spin out of control and veer into the opposite lane, where it collided with a blue Toyota Avensis travelling south.
The impact shattered the car, separating its front, rear and roof sections. Mr Bray’s body was found in a field 12 metres from the scene of the impact, and he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
The court heard how forensic experts had analysed Mr Bray’s seatbelt, which became detached following the initial collision with the lorry in what was described as an incredibly rare occurrence.
PC Stephen Fair of Wiltshire Police’s serious collisions unit arrived on the scene an hour after the crash.
Speaking at the inquest he said: “For some reason Jamie had lost control of his Rover, with the front colliding with the goods vehicle on a glancing blow.
“The vehicle continued sideways, into the oncoming Toyota, and due to the speed the vehicle was torn in half.
“Once it started to spin he was just a passenger, he could do nothing about it, and there was no action the Toyota driver could have taken.
“From my experience of 24 years he would have been killed even if he was wearing a seatbelt.”
Ian Singleton, assistant coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon recorded a verdict of accidental death, caused by multiple traumatic injuries.
He said: “Death would appear to have been almost instantaneous, and the failure of the seatbelt would not have been a factor in Jamie’s death.
“At some point prior to his death he had used cannabis, and on the balance of probability that would have affected his ability to react.”
In a statement read out to the court Mr Bray’s father Ian said: “He was a good driver, who passed his driving test first time and enjoyed driving.
“He was a shy, reserved person, with a great sense of humour. Losing Jamie has had a massive impact on our lives.”