A VERDICT of accidental death has been recorded in the inquest into the death of a Worcester man who died after crashing his car while trying to overtake a lorry in Clevelode last summer.
Steven Hartill died after his blue BMW was involved in a crash with a white Mercedes Sprinter van in the B4424 Upton Road at about 5pm on Thursday, August 29.
The 30-year-old of Low Fold Close was airlifted to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital but later died of his injuries.
Speaking at an inquest into the death of the former Dines Green Primary School and Christopher Whitehead High School pupil on Tuesday, February 4, Amanda Taylor, who knew Mr Hartill, said she had seen him attempt several times to overtake a large lorry containing sheep.
“He was the sort to try and overtake several times,” she said.
“We were hoping that he wouldn’t because he couldn’t see what was ahead of him.”
Mrs Taylor told the inquest at Stourport Coroners Court Mr Hartill had eventually decided to overtake the lorry, causing vehicles travelling in both directions to brake hard to let him through.
She said neither she nor her husband had witnessed the crash, but had seen debris on the road along with the car in the hedge so stopped to call an ambulance.
Dominic Webb, who was driving the van which was in collision with Mr Hartill’s car, told the inquest he was driving towards Ledbury on the road when he saw a number of cars and a large lorry ahead of him breaking hard.
“There was a BMW half on my side of the road and half on the other, which hit my van on the driver’s side,” he said.
“It was more of a sweep than a head-on collision.”
He said it looked as if Mr Hartill had hit the verge on his side of the road and bounced back into the oncoming lane.
Senior coroner Geraint Williams assured Mr Webb he was “completely blameless” for the accident.
“There was no way you could have avoided this collision,” he said. “You should not blame yourself for this.”
The inquest heard Mr Hartill’s cause of death had been recorded as cardiac arrest as a result of the car crash.
Traces of cannabis were found in his blood, but Mr Williams said there was no way of knowing how long it had been before the crash that Mr Hartill had smoked the drug as traces remain in the bloodstream for some time.
No traces of alcohol were found in his system.
Mr Hartill worked as a factory operative in Upton and was well known to many as a doorman at Worcester's Marrs Bar.