Inquest told man died after losing control of his van

A former Belford man was killed when he lost control of his van and hit an articulated truck near Alnwick, an inquest has heard.

Thursday, 27th October 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 4:31 pm

Christopher Penney, 28, from Longhoughton, was on his way to work when the collision happened at 7.15am on May 13.

It happened on the C80 between Longhoughton and Denwick.

A statement by truck driver Richard Trude, the only witness, indicated that Mr Penney’s van fish-tailed and hit a roadside verge as it came towards him.

Mr Trude said he braked and tried to take evasive action but could not avoid the collision.

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Mr Penney sustained a fractured spine and died at the scene a short time later.

PC Alistair Groves told the inquest that Mr Penney’s Ford Transit van had sustained catastrophic damage but there was no evidence of steering or brake failure.

He added that Mr Trude, who was on his way to Longhoughton Quarry, would have had no chance of avoiding a collision.

The collision happened when the road was wet and accident investigators had found roadside markings and other evidence to suggest Mr Penney had lost control while turning a corner.

PC Groves said: “The collision occurred when Christopher Penney lost control of his vehicle when negotiating a left-hand bend on the C80, resulting in the vehicle crossing into the opposite lane and colliding with a MAN truck. There were no carriageway or mechanical defects.”

Tony Brown, senior coroner for north Northumberland, concluded the death was the result of a momentary loss of control which led to a road traffic collision.

He added: “I’d like to send my condolences to his family on this extremely sad death at such a young age.”