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Jeep involved in crash in which father-of-three died had been taken without consent, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 14:01 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:01 01 July 2020

Norfolk coroner's court in Norwich. Picture: David Bale

Norfolk coroner's court in Norwich. Picture: David Bale

Archant

A father-of-three who died in a crash was not wearing a seatbelt and had taken the vehicle without consent, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Walker, 40, was travelling on the Dereham Road in Scarning, near Dereham, at about 9.30am on February 25, 2019, when the crash happened. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A friend was also in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was travelling towards Wendling. Both men were thrown from the vehicle and Mr Walker’s friend suffered serious injuries.

An inquest at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, July 1 heard that, despite a police investigation, it could not be determined which man was driving at the time of the crash.

The severity of his friend’s injuries means he has not been able to provide an accurate account of what happened.

Neither of the men were wearing a seatbelt. A Norfolk Constabulary report, read aloud by area coroner Yvonne Blake, said they also did not have valid driving licences or insurance and the vehicle had been taken without the owner’s consent.

Mr Walker, who lived at Titania Close, Colchester, and was a security operative, had travelled by train from Colchester to Norwich and then by bus to Dereham, where he was picked up by his friend.

The inquest heard the jeep was approaching a sweeping right hand bend when the driver applied hard steering and lost control of the vehicle, which then rolled over.

It came to a rest in the driveway of Christopher Pellatt-Morley, who said in a statement there had been four fatal accidents on that stretch of road.

Mr Pellatt-Morley, who saw the jeep rolling over, said: “I did not hear a skid or a sound of sharp braking. The road outside our house is a blackspot, and the sweeping bend is where previous accidents have occurred.”

The area coroner gave a short form conclusion that Mr Walker died of a road traffic collision.

The medical cause of death was given as multiple injuries.


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