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Cookham father died in M40 lorry collision, inquest hears

A popular Cookham husband and father died from ‘multiple injuries’ in a crash on the M40, a coroner has found.

An inquest into the death of Robert Wilson, aged 59, was held at Beaconsfield Coroner’s Court on Tuesday.

The inquest heard how Mr Wilson, who was born in Exeter but lived in Cookham and worked for Copas Farms, died from the severe injuries he sustained in a crash that took place between junctions 3 and 4 of the M40 on June 22.

During his life, Mr Wilson had a love for Land Rovers, red fox Labradors, caravans and water sports. He had a passion for country life and farming, and would often go to ploughing matches.

Coroner Crispin Butler told the court how Mr Wilson’s 44-tonne Man lorry, which he was driving southbound, drifted through the barriers on the central reservation and continued into oncoming traffic on the northbound carriageway, hitting another 44-tonne Volvo lorry.

According to eyewitness reports from the incident, which took place at about 6.30am, Mr Wilson’s lorry did not slow down or swerve even after it crashed through the barriers. This was confirmed by video evidence and a report from a forensic collision investigator, leading to questions over Mr Wilson’s health immediately before the crash.

A statement from Gary Prince, who was in the lorry that Mr Wilson’s vehicle collided with, was read out by the coroner.

It said: “I just checked my passenger mirror and all was well, I looked forward again and there was a lorry coming towards me on my side of the road.

“I didn’t have time to react much, but I think I pulled myself up in my seat and turned my back on it.

“I felt the collision right behind me, I thought I was still going forward when in fact I was actually going back from the impact.”

The coroner concluded that Mr Wilson died ‘immediately’ from the multiple injuries he sustained during the collision.

He stated that it was a ‘possibility’ that he had suffered a medical incident before his vehicle left the road, but it was impossible to say with certainty that that was the case.

Mr Butler said: “There’s no evidence of deviation or applying the brakes, one of the witnesses said that Robert must have been ‘gone’ before he hit the barriers, but that is just speculation.

“There's a possibility a medical event occurs.

“That’s the uncertainty that can’t be answered by this inquest, but it’s clear to me that if something occurred, it occurred shortly before this collision and the injuries that Robert sustained in the impact overtook any ongoing medical event that was occurring and he would have passed away straight away as a result.

“Sometimes we just don’t get the answers to the questions that we would want.”

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