Inquest into crash death

RTC site on Blyth Road near the Hodsock Priory entrance  (w111109-11b)
RTC site on Blyth Road near the Hodsock Priory entrance (w111109-11b)

A MAN who died in a car crash while trying to overtake on Blyth Road wasn’t wearing his seat belt, an inquest heard.

Tony Dunn, from Carlton Road, Worksop, died following a head-on collision near to the entrance of Hodsock Priory around 3.50pm on 5th November 2011.

He died at the scene aged 31.

Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard how his blue Vauxhall Astra collided with a blue Nissan Navara travelling in the opposite direction between Worksop and Blyth.

The driver in the other car, a 49-year-old woman from South Yorkshire, who was wearing her seat belt, suffered ‘life changing’ injuries to her right leg.

Giving evidence, Gonda De Ganck said she felt ‘all alone’ after the crash.

“I saw the car coming straight for me,” she recalled.

“My decision was to try to get on the grass verge. I was gobsmacked. I had nowhere to go on the right hand side. I had to go to the left.”

The inquest heard how both cars suffered similar impact damage.

PC Colin Thomas told the court: “Had he been wearing a seat belt, I would have expected Mr Dunn to have suffered the same or lesser injuries.”

“Miss De Ganck was wearing a seat belt. Both vehicles received similar impact. Had a seat belt been worn it could have been a different outcome.”

Mr Dunn’s family were not at the inquest but a statement from his widow Sarah Dunn was read out.

She described how the two of them first met at North Notts College in 1997, how he had a serious snow boarding accident in 2008 and how months later he asked for her hand in marriage.

The two tied the knot soon after at a small ceremony, Ms Dunn described as ‘perfect’.

On Saturday 5th November she said he had gone to visit a friend in Castleford.

She added: “He sometimes did not wear a seat belt.”

“Life will never be the same again. I have lost my soulmate.”

Her Majesty’s Coroner for Notts Mairin Casey said the incident had an ‘element of mystery’.

“I do find Tony Dunn, at the time of the incident, was driving in a careless fashion - not necessarily excess speeding.”

“Apart from Miss De Ganck in her car, it was a safe area to perform an overtaking maneuver.”

“It is tragic he was not wearing a seat belt at that time. I may not have been sitting here if he had.”

“He may have been distracted momentarily in his vehicle. We have no way of knowing.”

She returned a verdict of accidental death.