A father-of-two who died after crashing his car into a tree had type 1 diabetes and was suffering from low insulin levels at the time, an inquest heard.

Michael Howard, 62, of Pickford Close, North Walsham had been driving to work on September 16, 2022 when the accident happened.

The court heard how Mr Howard had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November 2018 and had previously had “poor glycemic control” over his blood glucose levels. 

A toxicology report found that it was likely he was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis at the time of the crash. The diabetic-related condition could have caused him to feel poorly due to low insulin levels. 

The accident happened shortly after 4am on the B1150 Norwich Road near Captain's Pond in Westwick.

Mr Howard, an assistant manager at an accident and repair service garage based in Norwich, would often drive to work early “to get a head start”. 

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk Coroner's Court at County Hall, NorwichNorfolk Coroner's Court at County Hall, Norwich (Image: Newsquest)

Soon after the collision, his grey Mini Cooper was spotted by two other motorists who called 999 after seeing the headlights and hazards flashing in woodland. 

Despite efforts from paramedics, Mr Howard was declared dead on scene at 4.42am. Police officers and firefighters also attended, and the road was closed while an investigation took place. 

The inquest into his death took place at County Hall, Norwich, on Wednesday, May 10, and was attended by members of his family including his children, Kirsty and Lewis. 

Michael Robin Howard was born on January 7, 1960, in North Walsham.

In a tribute, former colleague Nigel Lush, said he would be “sadly missed” and described him as “a caring friendly guy [who] always had time for everyone.”

Assistant coroner, Samantha Goward, concluded his death was by a road traffic collision.