Stoke-on-Trent lorry driver died after crashing into stranded vehicle on A500, inquest told

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A former soldier from Stoke-on-Trent died after his lorry smashed into another truck which had broken down on the A500, an inquest heard.

Roman Parsons, 30, of Bank Top, Blurton, died on November 24, 2017 after crashing into the rear of another heavy goods vehicle.

Stoke-on-Trent coroner’s court heard his death was caused by a fatal injury to his brain.

The HGV driver was on shift travelling northbound of the A500 towards the M6 when he crashed into a stationary lorry in the first lane of the A500, between Basford roundabout and Wolstanton Retail Park.

The stationary lorry had suffered a blown tyre.

It was not clear why the tyre popped but the inquest revealed the tyre was 10-years-old and had a screw in it.

Police said the screw did not penetrate the tyre and so would not have caused it to pop.

The police confirmed Daniel Carney’s lorry was stationary for 32 minutes, before Mr Parsons crashed into its rear, in the early hours that Friday.

Witnesses say they saw the lorry with hazards on and managed to safely pass the vehicle.

Mr Carney, who has since been on anti-depressants following the incident, says there was nothing more he could’ve done.

He said: “All of a sudden I heard a loud bang which sounded like a blow out.

“I put my hazards on and slowed to a stop.

“I moved the lorry as close to the side as I could be and traffic was passing with no issues.

“I had my hazards on the all the time.”

Mr Carney was was taken to hospital and discharged with minor injuries.

Due to insufficient evidence, the court could not give a specific reason why Mr Parsons crashed into Mr Carney’s lorry.

Garry Cotterill, his work supervisor at Solidor LTD in Fenton, was the last person to see him before his death.

During his last conversation with him, Roman had said: “I did not know whether to come in today or die.”

Mr Cotterill said: “This was part of Roman’s day to day banter.

“I did not believe Roman would do anything like that and do believe it was an accident.”

Mr Parsons’ mother described her son  as “happy and bubbly”.

And North Staffordshire Assistant Coroner Sarah Murphy instantly ruled out suicide as a reason for his death.

They estimated he had been travelling at 56 mph on the 50mph speed limit road which changes to national speed limit.

This would give approximately 28 seconds to react to the stationary lorry on the stretch of road.

It was speculated that Mr Parsons may have been using a mobile phone while driving.

However, there was no in or outbound calls or messages made by his phone before the collision.

The phone was later found on the floor near the collided vehicles.

Police say his Facebook app was open but could not confirm whether he had been using it before the incident.

The coroner concluded: “Unfortunately we will never know why Mr Parsons crashed into the stationary vehicle.

“Hopefully some of your questions have been answered and you can start to rebuild.”

After the inquest, Roman’s family issued a statement calling on all lorry drivers to call the police if they have broken down in an active lane in a bid to prevent such accidents in future.

Roman’s sister Rebecca said: “He was a caring, loving, talented man who sadly is not here to share with us what actually happened.

“No family should suffer like this. We love you Roman.”

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