Man, 75, drove into path of oncoming car - inquest hears

John Shrive

John Shrive - Credit: Archant

A well-known estate agent and community stalwart died after driving into the path of an oncoming vehicle at a junction, an inquest heard.

John Shrive, of Rectory Road, Holt, suffered multiple injuries in the crash on the B1061, in Stetchworth, at about 6pm on Wednesday, June 25.

Mr Shrive, 75, was driving back to Norfolk from a meeting at his old school, Wellingborough, in Northamptonshire, when his Vauxhall Omega estate car collided with a black Ford Focus, a hearing in Huntingdon heard on Thursday.

Stephanie Johnson, of Burwell, was driving behind Mr Shrive on Stetchworth High Street and witnessed the accident.

She recalled he had been doing about 30mph, slower than she expected in a 60mph limit. At the junction with the B1061, she said she saw a black car coming from the right and at about the same time the Omega had rolled out in front of it, but did not accelerate.

“I remember thinking ‘You are never going to make it, what are you doing?’ The Omega continued to roll forward and smashed into the front of the black car.”

The driver of the Ford Focus, Graham Short, of Kedington, near Haverhill, Suffolk, estimated he was doing 50-55mph.

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He noticed the Omega at the junction and believed it had stopped, but it had not.

He said: “I tried to turn to the right but he kept coming with me and we inevitably hit each other.”

PC Wayne Softley, from the Cambridgeshire police collision investigation unit, said Mr Shrive may have looked before pulling out but had either failed to see the Focus or misjudged its speed and proximity.

Both drivers were taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, where Mr Shrive died from his injuries.

Summing up, South and West Cambridgeshire coroner David Morris concluded that Mr Shrive died of injuries sustained in a car crash.

Among Mr Shrive’s many activities, he was a Rotary club stalwart, chairman of the Kelling Hospital Appeal Trust.

He sat on Bodham Parish Council, was a member of Holt and District Farmers’ Club and was involved in local charities.