Driver, 20, took own life in ‘deliberate’ crash with HGV on A171

A man “deliberately drove” into the path of a HGV after suffering “mental pressures” over a police investigation. Zachary Archibald was tragically pronounced dead at the scene of the collision on the A171. The 20-year-old died after his silver BMW 1 series collided with a heavy goods vehicle, on the Guisborough bypass, on June 26, 2019.

: Hunt for man with ‘Stockton accent’ after child hurt in brawl at North Yorkshire beauty spot Emergency services packed the road and the air ambulance was called to the scene, at the junction of Church Lane, shortly before 11am. An inquest was held on Monday to determine the circumstances surrounding the Whitby man’s death.

A post mortem examination, conducted by Dr David Scoones, concluded Mr Archibald died “due to a head injury”. The hearing at Teesside Coroner’s Court, in Middlesbrough, was told of the circumstances leading up to Mr Archibald’s death and how investigations were carried out by a joint police investigation unit.

Emergency services at the scene

Scene recreations and witness statements identified Mr Archibald was driving a “BMW 1 series when he crossed into path of a HGV vehicle”. Assistant Coroner Karin Welsh added there was no evidence of medical issues or mechanical faults.

Toxicological testing also ruled Mr Archibald was “not under the influence of drink or drugs” at the time of his death. The inquest heard evidence from Mr Archibald’s mother who told how he was under “mental pressures” due to ongoing enquiries with North Yorkshire Police. The investigation had caused Mr Archibald “anguish”, the inquest heard.

Ms Welsh confirmed that he had left a note expressing “concerns about the offence” and “impact on future employment”. However, officers were not able to see the note as Mr Archibald’s mother had “taken steps to withhold it from officers”. The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated “practical matters with regard to someone on bail and subject to curfew”.

A report ruled that the police investigation had “no impact” with regard to the “death concerned”. The force ruled the BMW was driven into the path of the HGV vehicle. The assistant coroner also concluded Mr Archibald “deliberately drove” at another vehicle after leaving a note stating his “intention”.

She recorded Mr Archibald, of Iburndale Lane, Sleights, died from suicide. North Yorkshire Police declined to comment on the investigation.

How to access support if you need it

Helplines and support groups The NHS Choices website lists the following helplines and support networks for people to talk to.

  • Samaritans (116 123 in UK and Ireland) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year.

    If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.

  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK.

    Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity based in England providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

    They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.

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