Driver error to blame for crash

A DRIVER’S death has been ruled accidental after he crossed over the road into the path of an oncoming motor home.

Roy Beattie, 53, of Hillside Crescent, Weldon, died on August 27 after a crash on the A43 near Stanion.

Witnesses told the inquest in Kettering on Thursday how he drove directly into oncoming traffic.

A witness statement from Mr Beattie’s doctor told how he had become depressed after being made redundant, and had even considered walking into a busy road to end his life.

Coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Beattie was driving home with his wife, Christine, after dropping off their son at the Odeon Cinema in Kettering.

The inquest heard from witnesses how, as his blue Ford Focus approached Stanion, it crossed to the opposite carriageway and hit a Peugeot motorhome head-on.

Witness Kimberley Griffiths was driving home to Little Stanion after a shift at Kettering General Hospital.

She said: “I remember there was a car driving in front and, as we rounded the bend heading towards Stanion, it drifted towards the centre of the road and went over the white lines. I saw a camper van coming around the corner and they both went up in the air as they collided.”

Mrs Beattie had to be airlifted to hospital after the accident and woke up 40 days later to be told her husband had died.

Gerald Ferguson, the driver of the motor home, and his wife, Jean, who was in the passenger seat, had minor injuries. They were driving to their home in Bedford, having only bought the brand new camper van that day.

John Underwood, forensic collision investigator for Northamptonshire Police, said no blame could be attached to Mr Ferguson.

Mr Underwood said the fact Mr Beattie’s wife was also in the car at the time would suggest Mr Beattie had not crashed deliberately, as they had a good relationship and he would not want to hurt her.

Mrs Pember said: “It is fair to say he has had problems with depression and on occasions has made attempts to take his life. But I am not satisfied he wished to end his life at this time so the appropriate verdict is accidental death due to Mr Beattie’s error.”