A lorry driver who crashed into the back of a truck on the M25 may not have been wearing his seatbelt.
Kevin Thompson, 57, from Bedfordshire died after the lorry he was driving smashed into the back of a Royal Mail vehicle on the motorway earlier this year.
The M25 was completely closed and didn’t re-open until six hours after the tragic incident on April 16.
A post-mortem carried out at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow gave Kevin’s cause of death as multiple injuries.
At Essex Coroner’s Court today it was suspected that Kevin hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.
PC Alan Barlow from Essex Police told the court: “The seatbelt was trapped behind the seat which lead us to deduce that Mr Thompson had not been wearing it at the time of the crash.”
The court heard how the traffic ahead of Kevin’s lorry had slowed down due to an earlier incident on the road, and there had been signs warning of the queueing traffic for three quarters of a mile before it.
PC Barlow said: “Tyre scuffs show that Kevin had applied emergency breaks and left hand steering to try and avoid the collision.”
Kevin’s lorry was traveling at 53MPH when the breaks were put on, while the truck he hit had been moving at around 10 miles per hour.
PC Barlow said: “I have considered what might have happened to cause Kevin to not be aware of the truck in front slowing.
“He could have been intoxicated, he could have suffered a medical incident, he could have been suffering fatigue or he could have been distracted.”
He went on to confirm with Beasley-Murray that toxicology tests had revealed that there was no alcohol or drugs in Kevin’s system.
Kevin was also not known to have any illnesses that could have caused the crash.
Previous breaking recorded on the same stretch of road also suggested that Kevin was not suffering from fatigue.
PC Barlow said that it was possible that Kevin had been distracted before the crash happened but admitted: “We will never truly know what caused the crash to happen.”
Following the crash, Kevin’s family paid tribute to him, they said: “Kevin was a kind, caring, fun-loving family man who will be missed greatly.
“He was a very experienced lorry driver and worked hard in all that he did.
“We would like to thank all those who stopped to help him at the scene of the accident, as well as the emergency services.”
Bringing the inquest to a close, Ms Beasley-Murray concluded that his death happened as a result of an accident.