Death crash victim had drugs overdose

A MOTORIST who was fatally injured when he drove out into the path of an oncoming van had overdosed on anti-depressants, an inquest heard.

Horrified van driver David Secker told how Simon Freshwater-Sturgess (38) turned to face him before pulling out of a junction on to the 60mph A47 in front of his van.

There was no evidence to suggest Mr Freshwater-Sturgess had intended to end his life, but his senses could have been dulled by the overdose, it was ruled at a hearing at Lynn County Court on Thursday.

Mr Secker was driving along the A47 toward Lynn when he saw Mr Freshwater-Sturgess's Rover Metro approaching from Swaffham Road, Narborough.

He said: "It was going through my mind – he will stop in a minute."

But Mr Freshwater-Sturgess kept going and Mr Secker's Volkswagen van ploughed into him.

The van was thrown onto its side and Mr Secker had to clamber out of the window amid a rising smell of petrol.

It was around 6am on March 5, and it was a cold, frosty morning. Mr Secker said he was travelling at around 57mph, despite the speed limit for a van on the road being 50mph, but crash investigators ruled neither the road surface conditions nor speed contributed to the crash.

Mr Freshwater-Strugess had been only moments from his home in Meadow Close, Narborough. He was on his way to work at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital where he was an auxiliary nurse.

A post mortem report revealed Mr Freshwater-Sturgess had taken a "chronic" overdose of anti-depressants of a level likely to cause "significant side effects".

Great Norfolk deputy coroner Mrs Jacqueline Lake said: "There is no evidence at all that Mr Freshwater-Sturgess intended to take his own life, however, he did drive out into the path of an oncoming vehicle which I'm satisfied was there to be seen.

"The high level of prescribed drugs taken by Mr Freshwater-Sturgess may well have affected his judgement and his ability to drive safely."

Mr Freshwater-Sturgess's wife Joyce said her husband had been happy and content the day before the crash and left as normal that morning.

A verdict of death due to a road traffic collision was recorded.