03:20AM, Thursday 24 April 2014
A St John Ambulance volunteer who died after his car veered off the M4 near Maidenhead had fallen asleep at the wheel, an inquest heard today.
Just after 2.30am on Wednesday, November 6 last year 26-year-old George Bairstow was driving home after helping out at a fireworks display in Lewes, East Sussex when his vehicle came off the road between junctions 8/9 and 10.
According to two highways service vehicle drivers who witnessed the crash, Mr Bairstow's brake lights did not come on when his car moved from the third across to the first lane, missing them by only several metres.
Speaking at the inquest, held at Windsor Guildhall, one of the drivers Paul Brown described how he saw the car travel to the hard shoulder before it careered off the road, across a ditch and through a fence.
It ended up in a field approximately 100 metres from the unlit section of the M4 and was discovered on its side.
Mr Bairstow, from Englefield Green, was still semi-conscious for a short time afterwards and was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where he received extensive CPR.
A piece of the fence became impaled in his chest when he crashed leaving him with injuries described as 'extensive and unsurvivable."
Coroner Peter Bedford recorded the cause of death as a road traffic collision.
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