After an inquest, it was concluded that the tanker driver could not have done any more to avoid colliding with a car whose driver tragically died.
Central Lincolnshire coroner Stuart Fisher recorded a verdict regarding the accidental death of Kevin John Lee on June 18 on the A153 at Haltham.
The deceased, Mr Lee, age 53, from the village near Horncastle, died from multiple injuries resulting from a collision which happened at 7.57o’clock in the morning of June 18.
The inquest at Louth related that Mr Lee, who was driving a blue Ford Focus, was at the West Lane junction waiting to negotiate a right turn on his way to Boston.
Paul Simon, the identified tanker driver has been on this job for 18 years and was on his way back to his depot in Immingham following a delivery in Swineshead.
Mr Simon claimed that Mr Lee seemed to move forward with his wheels over the white line as he started to ease off his accelerator.
He said that Mr Lee halted and then moved in front of him. Mr Simon said he stepped on his brake but the collision was unavoidable.
The DAF tanker collided with the Ford Focus side on, as the car only stopped after crashing with a tree.
This stretch of road has an advisory 40mph speed limit which is non-enforceable. The maximum speed limit on the A153 for tankers is 40mph.
According to reports at the inquest, Mr Simon’s lorry was fitted with a tachograph and was travelling at around 43-44mph – marginally over the maximum speed limit for his vehicle; however, the lorry had been travelling at around 30mph at the point of impact.
Collision investigator PC Raymond Holloway from Lincolnshire Police stated that Mr Lee would have had around 10.54 seconds in which the tanker would have been in his line of sight.
Since neither vehicle had any defects, it was not a factor contributing to the crash. Mr Fisher reasoned that if Mr Simons had been driving at 40mph, then Mr Lee would have sustained fatal injuries. Mr Simon could not have taken any further steps to avoid this collision.
The inquest also learned that Mr Lee was suffering from sleep and hypo apnea and was advised to use an airway pressure mask while he slept. It was discovered that Mr Lee had not been using the machine immediately prior to the collision. His sleep condition had also not been disclosed to the DVLA which is a requirement.
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