Man dies after car crashed into tree

A YOUNG man died after colliding with a tree on a country road, an inquest heard.James Barnes, 20, of Church Close, Kelsale, near Saxmundham, was travelling along the B1119 Saxmundham to Leiston road when his car left the road on Good Friday this year.

A YOUNG man died after colliding with a tree on a country road, an inquest heard.

James Barnes, 20, of Church Close, Kelsale, near Saxmundham, was travelling along the B1119 Saxmundham to Leiston road when his car left the road on Good Friday this year. He suffered fatal injuries.

The inquest at Lowestoft yesterdayheard that Mr Barnes, who worked as a shop assistant at the town's Somerfield store, was upset about a relationship.

Accident investigators found no evidence that he had braked before hitting the tree, or of a physical defect with the car or that he was wearing a seatbelt, the inquest was told.


You may also want to watch:


Coroner George Leguen de la Croix recorded a verdict of accidental death, saying there was "absolutely no evidence" as to why he hit the tree.

The inquest heard that he was a bright young man who had gained ten GCSEs all at grades A and B but did not complete his A Level education.

Most Read

His father, John Barnes, confirmed his son was a good driver. He also confirmed he was serious about a girl but "it was not going his way" and that he had discussed the situation with him.

When he left to go to work that day "he seemed fine".

"It was the normal parting situation we had been through many times before," he said.

"It is, of course, a great tragedy for James, his family and his friends that this happened at such a young age when he had his whole life before him," said Mr de la Croix.

"There is absolutely no evidence as to why he collided with the tree. It may be that there was another vehicle on the road, perhaps some animal on the road.

"It's the sort of thing that happens and we just don't know. In order to arrive at a suicide verdict, that is that he had done this deliberately, I would have to be satisfied that there is evidence to support that view.

"He was obviously upset at his personal relationships, but there are occasions when a person and older people will take some action in either despair and frustration at that time and there is no actual desire to kill themselves."

He suggested that this could lead to all sorts of actions, including driving at high speed.

"In view of this I feel the only proper verdict is that death was due to an accident," he said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter