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Son witnessed horror lorry crash that killed his dad

PUBLISHED: 13:03 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:20 10 February 2020

Debroy Summers died on the A149 near Knights Hill        Picture: Chris Bishop

Debroy Summers died on the A149 near Knights Hill Picture: Chris Bishop

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A man watched helplessly as a car carrying his parents and his two daughters crashed into a lorry as they all returned from a family trip to the beach.

Carrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is held. Picture: ANTONY KELLYCarrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is held. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A Norwich inquest heard the driver, Debroy Summers, died in the collision on the A149 near King's Lynn on August 15 last year.

Mr Summers, 74, had spent the day at Hunstanton beach with his two sons, wife Valerie Summers and two granddaughters.

The inquest heard he was driving home to Maple Road in Downham Market in his Skoda Octavia with his wife in the front and two granddaughters in the back. His son, father of the two girls Karl Summers, was following in the car behind being driven by his brother Thomas Summers.

At about 5.45pm while on the A149 between Knights Hill and the Sandy Lane junction Debroy Summers, a retired lorry driver, began to veer across the white line into the oncoming lane.

Debroy Summers died on the A149 near Knights Hill        Picture: Chris BishopDebroy Summers died on the A149 near Knights Hill Picture: Chris Bishop

In a statement Carl Summers, a warehouse operator, said: "There was a build-up of traffic in front of him and he was looking like he wanted to overtake. I said 'What's he doing?' He continued veering over the white line into oncoming traffic. I then saw the lorry coming. He didn't speed up or slow down."

The Jack Richards lorry, driven by Stewart Hayward, flashed its lights and moved to the grass verge but the vehicles collided. Mr Summers' Skoda was spun around to face his sons in the car behind.

Norwich Coroners' Court heard on Monday, February 10 that his 13-year-old granddaughter who was sitting behind him had been talking to him but it went quiet. When she realised they had drifted into the other lane she shouted to Debroy Summers, who did not respond.

Thomas Summers, driving behind, shouted "no, no, no", stopped the car, and Karl Summers ran to the Skoda. He saw his mother was trapped but carried his youngest daughter, 10, to the grass verge. His other daughter was carried by another person. They had burn marks to the neck and stomach.

Police forensic investigator Sgt Lee Smart told the court that the only skid marks found at the scene were from the lorry and evidence suggested that Mr Summers did not attempt to take evasive action.

Assistant coroner Johanna Thompson gave the cause of death as multiple head and chest injuries from a road traffic collision.


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