Popular farm manager died after crashing into digger, inquest hears

Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

A man who died after crashing into a digger may have been impaired by headaches caused by meningitis, an inquest heard.

The hearing into the death of Stephen Hogg also heard that the crash on the B1102, between Worlington and Mildenhall, was not sufficient on its own to have caused his death - but may have worsened his meningitis infection.

The 40-year-old farm manager from Fordham in Cambridgeshire, died on November 21, 2018 in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, several days after the accident.

Mr Hogg, who was originally from Alnwick in Northumberland, was driving his Toyota Hilux pickup when it left the road, passed through a set of unmanned roadworks and crashed into a parked digger.

The inquest heard a statement from Mr Hogg’s father, Ashley Hogg, who had been in the area visiting his son when the accident happened.

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Ashley Hogg said that in the days leading up to his death, his son had been unwell and had been complaining of severe headaches and earaches.

Mr Hogg’s employer, Anthony Parr, also said that he had raised concerns with him about his health but that Mr Hogg was determined to carry on working.

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On the day of his death, witnesses reported seeing Mr Hogg’s car veer off into the direction of the roadworks, eventually hitting the digger.

Those first at the scene performed CPR on Mr Hogg until emergency services arrived.

A post mortem examination found that Mr Hogg had suffered a head trauma during the crash but that this was not sufficient to cause his death.

The report also found that Mr Hogg had pneumococcal meningitis and a severe ear infection, which had likely caused his headaches and impaired his driving ability.

It was stated that the head injury could also have made the meningitis infection worse.

The inquest heard that Mr Hogg had no partner or children but had a close group of friends and was popular locally.

Around 150 people from the Fordham area were said to have attended his funeral.

Mr Parr also paid tribute to his former employee, saying that he had a “natural aptitude for business”.

Senior coroner for Suffolk, Nigel Parsley, recorded a narrative conclusion that Mr Hogg’s death had been caused by a combination of the infection and the head injury.

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