Corsa drove into path of lorry: Inquest hears tragic impact of fatal A16 crash
An inquest heard a 34-year-old man tragically died when he collided head-on with a 20-tonne truck. The conducting coroner said we “will never know” why Szymon Suwala drove his Vauxhall Corsa into the path of the oncoming DAF truck on a straight stretch of the A16. The horrific crash, which left the driver of the lorry with PTSD, was deemed an accident.
It happened at around 5.50pm between the roundabouts at West Marsh Road in Spalding and Surfleet, on Sunday, August 16, 2020.
An inquest held in Lincoln was unable to establish why Suwala crossed into the opposite lane of the A16, a move which resulted in his death. The inquest resumed on Tuesday, and was told that coroner Paul Cooper had accepted an application for the lorry driver to be excused on medical grounds. He was not required to appear and give evidence after his legal representative, Farid Malik, had said the man was recently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
He was also suffering from depression with psychotic episodes, one of which had happened just days earlier, so he was excused from the inquest. “It could be the underlying reason for that is the accident which took place last year,” said Mr. Malik.
Collision investigator PC Sarah Capes had paraphrased a short statement from the DAF driver, saying: “He saw a line of traffic travelling towards him and the Corsa just appeared in front of him.” PC Capes told the inquest that the 20-tonne lorry was travelling at 49mph and the driver had no time to react with braking. Evidence suggested that Mr Suwala, of Lewis Court in Spalding, had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
A car driver who was travelling directly behind him said: “I saw [his] dark blue car make a sudden move to the right into the opposite lane. “I thought he was going to overtake at least one car in front of him but it seemed he was overtaking two or three. I didn’t think he had enough time to complete the overtaking.”
The inquest heard that Mr Suwula had mental health problems of his own, but his medication had been reduced and he was considered to be “stable”. Suwula’s sister said the day of the crash was set to be his first at a new workplace, something he was excited about, and the family couldn’t understand why the fatal incident happened. The coroner’s conclusion was that the death was due to an accident, stating sometimes an inquest cannot provide “perfect answers”.
Coroner Paul Cooper added: “We’ll never know why he overtook the vehicles in the manner that he did and you mustn’t agonise yourself trying to work out why.”
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