Fakenham man’s inquest hears that he suffered from heart condition

A well-respected court officer who died when his car veered across a road into the path of a coach suffered from a severe heart condition which could have caused his erratic driving, an inquest heard.

Fakenham father-of-one Roger Fox, 56, died at the scene following the accident on the A1067 at Stibbard, between Guist and Great Ryburgh, on July 22.

Yesterday's Norwich inquest heard that Mr Fox was driving home from Norwich at about 4.45pm when his car crashed into a coach carrying 37 members of the Norwich Parkinson's group.

The group was on its way home from a day trip to Sandringham and several people suffered cuts in the accident and had to be taken to hospital.

Two other cars travelling behind Mr Fox – driven by Julian Aldous and Christopher Catmull – were also involved in the crash.

The inquest heard that a post mortem examination revealed that Mr Fox suffered from a severe heart condition, which he was not aware of and was not being treated for.

Recording a verdict of death as a result of a road traffic collision, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said: 'There was no reason for him to have pulled out on to the other side of the road, but we have clear evidence that he suffered from a heart condition so it's very likely it could have been the underlying cause of what happened.'

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Coach driver Ian Williams said that Mr Fox's car was about three quarters of the width of a car on his side of the road when the crash occurred.

He said: 'I thought he was overtaking a bicycle, and would pull back in again, but he didn't.'

One of the coach passengers, Roy Bridge, suffered a bloody noise in the crash and told the inquest he would never forget the incident.

PC Nicholas Kett, collision investigator, said: 'It's unclear why the driver failed to keep in his lane, but there is evidence that at the last minute he did try to steer back into the correct lane, but it was then too late.'

Mr Fox was a court officer for Norfolk children's services.

His family previously paid tribute and said they were 'so proud of everything' he had achieved during his life. They said: 'Roger was a loving husband of Aileen and very proud father of Katherine. He enjoyed his work as a court officer for Norfolk children's services. His concern for the welfare of children was paramount.'

david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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