Inquest follows fatal accident at Mousen Bends

An inquest has concluded that a man killed in an accident on the A1 near Belford did not have any clear intention of taking his own life.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 18 February, 2016, 11:31
Berwick-upon-Tweed Magistrates' Court.

Robert Curran, 50, from Musselburgh, died when his Rover 45 crashed into an oncoming Scania tipper lorry on the Mousen Bends on February 20, last year.

The collision happened around 4.20pm when Mr Curran, heading south, drove on the wrong side of the carriageway and into the lorry driven by Belford man Stephen Ions.

The inquest heard statements from several witnesses, including Mr Ions, who was returning to Belford quarry when he saw the Rover heading towards him some 300 yards north of the Chatton junction.

He said the car made no attempt to swerve or slow down and, despite his own evasive actions, the car hit his lorry at speed.

An off-duty paramedic was one of the first on the scene but said nothing could be done to save Mr Curran.

A post-mortem carried out by pathologist Dr Catherine Hobday said the cause of death was brain contusions and other multiple injuries. It would have been instant.

PC Russell Blenkinsop, senior crash investigator, said: “It’s my opinion that the actions taken by Mr Curran were deliberate but to what degree they were influenced by his state of mind is unclear.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The inquest heard that Mr Curran, a divorced father-of-two, had been having mental health issues caused by a relationship break-up. He was signed off from work at Adsa.

He had been seen by a doctor and received a psychiatric assessment which recommended he receive further treatment and counselling. He had had suicidal thoughts but medical experts felt there was no intent.

Notes found in his flat also made it clear that Mr Curran was depressed, including one page in which he wrote about thoughts of suicide. However, some of his comments were also positively looking to the future.

A letter from Mr Curran’s daughter, Amber, cast doubts on the quality of mental health care he had received. The family also doubted that he would deliberately kill himself in such a way.

Coroner Tony Brown concluded: “The facts I have heard are that Robnert Curran expressed suicidal ideas. He was in a highly anxious and emotional state, evidenced by the confusing array of notes left in his flat.

“I am not satisfied he had any clear intention to take his own life.”