Much-loved guitar teacher Des Miles was 'burnt out' before collision with truck – Devon Live

A father died when he walked out in front of a tipper truck, an inquest has heard.

Des Miles was a classical guitar teacher and hairdresser who told his GP three days before his death that he was ‘burned out’.

The inquest at Exeter Coroner’s Court was told the 58-year-old father of two had visited his daughter Carly at her home near Mullacott Cross, Devon, before the collision with the truck on Bonfire Night last year on the A361 road at Ashford in North Devon.

The senior coroner Philip Spinney said that Des parked his car in a lay by for an unknown reason and then ‘walked towards my lorry at a fast pace’, said Wales and West utility lorry driver Stephen Heard.

Mr Heard said a man with both his arms in the air walked towards him and he swerved into the outside lane to try and avoid him.

Guitar teacher Des Miles who died after a crash involving a lorry on Monday

Nicola Miles had set off to look for her husband when he did not turn up at their home after his visit to their daughter.

She came across the incident and spotted his car in the lay by and was told he had been struck by a lorry.

The family did not attend the inquest but in a statement, Nicola said Des would never take his own life because he would not do that to his family.

 

She said they had no money worries and Des would not do something which would impact on other people like the lorry driver.

“I know Des and he would not have done anything deliberately. It was a tragic accident which has devastated our family.”

His GP, Dr Edward Matthews, said Des had ‘an empty nest feeling’ and was feeling flat after the recent wedding ‘and the stresses that brings’.

Much-loved guitar teacher Des Miles was 'burnt out' before collision with truck - Devon Live
Des Miles died after a crash involving a lorry last week

He said he was feeling ‘burned out’.

Collision investigator Andrew Fletcher said in his report that Mr Heard swerved to avoid the pedestrian but was ‘unable to avoid the collision’.

Mr Fletcher said the road was well lit, dry and visibility was good but said it was unknown why Des parked in the lay-by and why he moved into the path of the goods vehicle.

The coroner said Des had felt flat in the three or four weeks in a consultation three days before he died. Des spoke about the empty nest after his daughter’s wedding and the stresses that a wedding brings. 

But Mr Spinney said there was no evidence that Des intended to kill himself and recorded a conclusion of a road traffic collision death.

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The inquest heard that the tipper truck driver was driving at 47mph along the 50mph dual carriageway with an ambulance on blue lights behind him taking a stroke patient to hospital.

Ambulance driver Darren Surgeon said he saw a ‘body six feet in the air’ after Des was struck by the truck.  Des died from chest injuries.

His family said after his death: “Des Miles was the definition of a legend. Every life he touched was always that little bit brighter for knowing him.”

The coroner concluded the cause of death was a road traffic collision.

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