A popular serviceman died when he lost control of his car which veered sharply into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Kamrul Hassan, 28, of Knox Road, Wellinborough, died as his Ford Focus crossed into the opposite lane on the A6 Rothwell and Desborough bypass on the evening of February 23.
He hit an oncoming car driven by Suzanne Jones, of Desborough, leaving her hospitalised for seven months with several broken bones. She is now wheelchair-bound as her feet had to be completely re-structured.
Clinton Vickerstaff of Belper was driving his car along the road when the accident occurred, and he stopped to help both victims.
He told the inquest in Kettering: “Up ahead, I heard a loud bang and saw a bowl of flames shoot up about 50 feet high. I thought an aircraft had crashed.
The inquest heard Mr Hassan worked as an IT technician, and was also a Leading Aircraftman for the 504 RAF reservist squadron based at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland.
Collision investigator for Northamptonshire Police Andy Jeavons said excessive speed was likely to be a big factor for the crash, but why Mr Hassan veered sharply to the other side of the road is a mystery.
Coroner Anne Pember recorded an accidental death verdict, and said: “I believe the crash was down to driver error and speed played a big factor.”
The inquest heard that Mr Hassan was the eldest of eight children, and was well-known in Wellingborough for fixing people’s computers.
In a statement, his sister Taslima Aktar said: “When he died we lost the person we all used to turn to.
“He was not interested in cars or girls and just wanted to repair computers – that’s the type of person he was.
“He did not like to make enemies on the road and never understood why people got so angry.”
Ms Jones said she could not remember the crash and the only thing she could recall was hearing a loud bang and waking up in her vehicle’s airbag suffering from extreme pain.
In March, about 200 people attended Mr Hassan’s funeral at Wellingborough.