Brandon: Coroner uncertain of circumstances surrounding death of crash victim Jonathan Wojtasz
PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 July 2014
Mystery still surrounds the death of a 28-year-old man whose car crashed into a tree at high speed on a west Suffolk road after a coroner said he could not be sure of the victim’s intentions.
Jonathan Wojtasz, of Brandon, died in April when his Ford Fiesta collided with the tree on the C622 in Santon Downham, close to fire road 19.
Witnesses reported seeing Mr Wojtasz’s car travelling “quite quickly” along the 60mph road, although there was discrepancy between two witnesses about whether they heard any braking.
Police investigators found no evidence of braking or steering at the scene, while Mr Wojtasz had been having troubles in his relationship and had spoken about veering his car off the road.
However, Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean told Wednesday’s inquest in Bury St Edmunds that he could not be certain that Mr Wojtasz had deliberately crashed, saying he may have been distracted at the wheel.
“We have different possibilities and on the evidence that I have I can’t prefer one over the other,” he said.
“Although it has been mentioned this could have been a deliberate act, but equally I would need to be sure of that and sure of intention before concluding a conclusion this was a person taking their own life.
“There are some unanswered questions about what triggered that collision.”
Eyewitness Tony Lee said he saw Mr Wojtasz travelling above the 60mph speed limit and heard the screeching of brakes before the car left the road on the right-hand side. Another eyewitness, Julie Sanders, said she did not hear any braking.
Mr Wojtasz was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigations by police found Mr Wojtasz had not been using his phone and there were no problems with the car or road surface.
Giving evidence, collision investigator Pc Andy Fossey said he could not rule out that Mr Wojtasz had tried to avoid an animal, but added: “It would be reasonable to suggest that someone having avoided a creature would then attempt to either steer back towards the road or brake. There’s no evidence of that.”
His father, Tony Wojtasz, spoke to Jonathan on the morning of the crash and said there seemed nothing untoward, while he also saw his son put his seatbelt on as he left less than an hour before the crash took place.
Mr Wojtasz had reportedly been in a relationship with his girlfriend since June 2013.
Dr Dean said: “He got on very well with her three children, he is described as a lovely guy, but there were some problems in the relationship and there were some difficulties in the time prior to his very sad death. There’s comment made and further comments about veering his car off the road, and concerns that he might do something stupid in his car.”