Fatal crash man had ‘heart trouble’

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A SIXTY-ONE-year-old man from Ingoldmells who crashed into a tree on an A52 lay-by may have had heart problems at the time, an inquest has heard.

Charles Terence Bethell, Of Oak Close, died of significant injuries sustained during the accident at about 9am, on May 31, according to a post-mortem, with coroner Paul Smith adding there was evidence a coronary artery arrhythmia may have also contributed.

The inquest at Horncastle Registration Office on Tuesday heard Mr Bethell had a history of poor health since his time working as a miner, with his medical records starting in 1966.

Mr Bethell had been driving a silver Toyota Rav 4 along Skegness Road, Chapel St Leonards, on May 31.

Witness Mark Andrew Palmer, who had been driving the other way with his son at the time, said he saw Mr Bethell overtaking a silver van as he came round a bend near to a lay-by next to a well-known strawberry field.

He slowed down and Mr Bethell managed to manoeuvre back to his side of the road in front of the van.

However, as Mr Palmer checked his rear mirror he saw him leave the road and then heard the crash as Mr Bethell hit one of two large trees lining a grass verge between the main road and the lay-by.

The car span 180 degrees and came to rest three or four metres away, he said.

Following this he went to help Mr Bethell.

Mr Palmer said Mr Bethell asked him to ring his wife and tell her ‘this time it was bad’.

He was airlifted to hospital but died a short time later.

Mr Bethell’s wife Verl’s statement was read out at the inquest and told how her husband had complained of pains the day before, had an uncomfortable nights sleep and had already been to the doctors that morning before setting off to pick up his prescription.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.