Tanker driver could not have avoided A153 death crash, inquest hears
A TANKER driver – who worked out of an Immingham depot – could not have done any more to avoid a collision with a car – the driver of which died – an inquest heard.
Central Lincolnshire Coroner Stuart Fisher recorded a verdict of accidental death following the accident, which killed Kevin John Lee on June 18 on the A153 at Haltham.
Mr Lee, 53, from the village near Horncastle, died from multiple injuries sustained in the collision, which happened at 7.57am.
The inquest at Louth heard Mr Lee, who was driving a blue Ford Focus, was at the West Lane junction waiting to turn right for a trip to Boston.
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Paul Simon, a tanker driver for 18 years, was on his way back to his depot in Immingham following a delivery in Swineshead.
Mr Simon said Mr Lee appeared to nudge forward, with his wheels over the white line, and started to ease off his accelerator, before stopping and then pulling out in front of him.
Although Mr Simon applied his brake, the inquest heard the collision was unavoidable.
The DAF tanker hit the car side on, with the car coming to a stop after colliding with a tree.
The speed limit on 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.
The inquest heard that Mr Simon's lorry, fitted with a tachograph, was travelling at around 43-44mph – marginally over the maximum speed limit for his vehicle – and would have been travelling at about 30mph at the point of impact.
Collision investigator PC Raymond Holloway of Lincolnshire Police said Mr Lee would have had about 10.54 seconds in which the tanker would have been in his line of sight.
Neither vehicle had any defects which may have contributed to the collision.
Mr Fisher said: "If Mr Simons had been driving at 40mph, sadly Mr Lee still would have sustained fatal injuries.
"Mr Simon could not have taken any further steps to avoid this collision."
The inquest heard that Mr Lee suffered from sleep and hypo apnea and was advised to use an airway pressure mask while he slept.
It was said 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.