A11: Crash in which Kenneth Hobbins died may have been caused by his tiredness

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean - Credit: Archant

An 81-year-old man who died in a car accident on the A11 at Mildenhall may have fallen asleep behind the wheel, an inquest has heard.

Kenneth Hobbins had been driving a Mercedes estate car on November 7 last year when it collided with a DAF truck at about 2.05pm.

Today’s inquest into his death heard how on the day of the accident him and his wife Susan were relocating from Norfolk to Devon and were making different journeys in different cars.

The DAF truck driver, Morris Dunne, who was travelling north, said he saw the Mercedes - which was travelling in the opposite direction - straddling the central white line and veering from side to side.

Mr Dunne tried to avoid the collision, but there was “very little time in which to react”.


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Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean, who recorded a verdict of accidental death, said police had said the most plausible cause of the crash was Mr Hobbins was severely affected by tiredness and it was “highly probable he was falling asleep behind the wheel whilst driving”.

Dr Dean said: “The importance of stopping and indeed avoiding driving while tired is emphasised by the tragic events that took place here.”

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Mrs Hobbins said her and her husband, of Lower Warren Road Kingsbridge, South Devon, had been very tired on the day in question.

The collision caused severe damage to both vehicles, with Mr Hobbins becoming trapped inside his. The rescue and medical teams tried to save him, but his death, due to multiple organ injury, was confirmed at 3.07pm at the scene.

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