Jaguar driver who died in crash on A47 attempted call moments earlier

PUBLISHED: 17:04 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:51 25 April 2020

An inquest has been held into the death of a man who died in a crash on the A47. Picture: Matthew Usher.

An inquest has been held into the death of a man who died in a crash on the A47. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

A removals worker who died in a crash on the A47 attempted to telephone his partner moments before drifting into oncoming traffic, an inquest has heard.

Stephen Short, who previously worked in security for the Saudi Arabian royal family, died on November 3 after his Jaguar S Type drifted into the path of an oncoming Tesco lorry.

The incident happened on the A47 at Walsoken, near Wisbech, around 500 yards south of the B198 Walton Highway roundabout, with the road closed for several hours following the crash. He was declared dead at the scene.

On Friday, an inquest into the 53-year-old’s death heard how just moments before the crash he had attempted to return a telephone call from his partner, having left work early.

Mr Short, who was heading in the direction of Peterborough, then drifted into the King’s Lynn bound carriageway, colliding with the lorry.

However, evidence given by Stuart Aldous of Norfolk Constabulary, who investigated the incident - read out by area coroner Yvonne Blake - said there was no way of telling whether Mr Short had access to hands-free technology in his car.

The officer added that his partner had received a notification on Facebook that he had also read a Facebook message from her in the moments prior.

He said: “Mr Short was wearing a seat belt before being cut out of his vehicle by firefighters and did not have any sign of drugs or alcohol in his system.”

He added that there were no defects with the road conditions that could have contributed to the collision and the driver of the lorry also tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

The lorry driver’s mobile phone was examined and was found not to have been used at any point leading up to the collision.

A statement from the lorry driver read out at the hearing recalled how the crash had turned the Jaguar into “a mangled mess of metal”.

Ms Blake gave a short form conclusion that Mr Short had died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Mr Short was from Hampton Hargate, near Peterborough.

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