A 57-year-old man who was killed in a head-on collision on a country lane near his Thrussington home was driving with excess alcohol in his body and was not wearing a seatbelt, a inquest heard today (Tuesday).
A police crash scene investigator told the Loughborough hearing that Billie Scott Kitchener’s Volkswagen Passat was partially on the wrong side of the road when the incident happened, on Seagrave Road, on the evening of February 4 this year.
His vehicle was in collision with a Range Rover travelling in the opposite direction and a paramedic declared him dead at the scene at 8.50pm.
Pathologist Professor Guy Rutty, who carried out a post mortem, found that Mr Kitchener died as a result of head, chest and abdominal injuries.
In his report, read out at the inquest, Professor Rutty stated that the deceased had 107 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of his blood, with the legal drink drive limit being 80 milligrammes of alcohol.
He also concluded that Mr Kitchener had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision, a point agreed with by Leicestershire Police forensic collision investigator, Pc Dan Jarvis.
Pc Jarvis told the inquest: “I examined the driver’s seatbelt and it was in the stowed position and had no friction marks.
“I would have expected his injuries would have been significantly less if he had been wearing the seatbelt at the time of the collision.”
The hearing was told that Mr Kitchener was driving away from Thrussington while the Range Rover was heading towards the village when the impact occurred, about 800 metres east of the A46 junction.
Pc Jarvis said he found two gouge marks on the road surface consistent with the heavier Range Rover forcing the Passat’s alloy wheel into the tarmac.
He explained that the location of the marks indicated that Mr Kitchener’s Passat had crossed the centre line of the road prior to the collision although he felt the car would have been travelling within the speed limit of 60mph.
Computer information was downloaded from the Range Rover which showed that the driver had braked heavily and turned the steering wheel to the left when it was in collision with the Passat at a speed of 34mph.
The Range Rover driver, a woman aged in her 40s who was travelling home to Thrussington from visiting her mother in Syston and who was not seriously injured, was found not to be at fault for the incident following a police investigation.
Det Con Seamus Burns told the inquest he had spoken to David Headley, who stopped at the scene as he drove towards Thrussington.
“Mr Headley said he heard the sound of a female screaming coming from the Range Rover and then recognised the occupant as a neighbour from the village. He said she was distressed but OK,” said Det Con Burns.
“He went over to the VW Passat and could see a male slumped over the steering wheel. He said he was unconscious and formed the opinion that the man had died.”
The coroner, Louise Pinder, found that Mr Kitchener died as a result of a road traffic collision.
She told the inquest: “From the evidence it is clear that he would have been immediately rendered unconscious following the collision.
“Although he didn’t die immediately he didn’t suffer undue pain from his injuries which will be some comfort to his family.
“Some members of Mr Kitchener’s family are here today and I want to offer my sincere condolences to them.”