Soham couple died after driver veered into opposite lane near Prickwillow, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 16:45 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:52 01 June 2017

Lawrence Court, Huntingdon, where an inquest was held into the deaths of Clive and Janet Beaumont on June 1.

Lawrence Court, Huntingdon, where an inquest was held into the deaths of Clive and Janet Beaumont on June 1.

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A Soham couple died after their car veered into the opposite lane and collided with oncoming cars near Prickwillow in December, an inquest heard.

Seventy-nine-year-old Clive Beaumont, and his wife, Janet, of Brook Street, were travelling home from a tea dance at the Hiam Sports and Social Club on December 1 when they were involved in a multi-vehicle collision on the B1104 at around 5.30pm.

Mrs Beaumont, also 79, died at the scene and Mr Beaumont died from his injuries two days later at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. The driver of another of the cars involved, Liam Francis, was seriously injured.

At Huntingdon Coroner’s Court today (June 1) senior coroner, David Heming, told how witnesses said Mr Beaumont’s red Honda Jazz “slowly but progressively” moved towards the centre of the road before veering into the opposite lane on Putney Hill Road between Prickwillow and Isleham, just 350 metres along from the Hiam Sports and Social Club.

The Honda struck an Audi A4, before hitting a Ford Focus and spinning 180 degrees back into the correct lane. It was then hit by a Mazda 3 before coming to a stop. The Audi that the Honda initially collided with then hit a fourth car – a Vauxhall Vectra.

PC Ian Masters, of Cambridgeshire Police’s collision investigation unit, ruled out that Mr Beaumont, a retired engineer, could have been suffering from fatigue, used a mobile phone or was suffering from any medical issues at the time which could have contributed to the crash.

His report said: “No defects were found on any of the vehicles involved. The condition of the road surface did not cause significant hindrance to the control of the vehicle. The weather was mild and dry and visibility was excellent although it was dark.

“They had both left the Hiam Sports and Social Club in good spirits and both were in good health. There was no sign of fatigue, as Mr Beaumont had only just started the task of driving, and there was no use of a mobile phone around the time of the collision.

“The collision was caused as a result of a deviation by the Honda into the north-bound carriageway, but I am unable to conclude as to why the Honda driver, Mr Beaumont, made such a deviation.”

A toxicology report also came back negative.

Mr Heming concluded that Mr Beaumont died from multiple organ failure due to multiple injuries, and Mrs Beaumont died as a result of multiple injuries.

He said: “Mr Beaumont was not someone who had driven 600 miles before the time of the collision.

“The cause of death, in both instances, was road traffic collision. My condolences go to the families of the deceased.”

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