Crash driver was texting, inquest heard

A STARK warning has been issued to motorists today about texting while driving following the death of a Suffolk man.Nicholas Bray, 20, of The Pippins, Church Road, Stowupland died following the crash on the A134 between Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds on Friday, January 6.

A STARK warning has been issued to motorists today about texting while driving following the death of a Suffolk man.

Nicholas Bray, 20, of The Pippins, Church Road, Stowupland died following the crash on the A134 between Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds on Friday, January 6.

An inquest held today heard that Mr Bray's Honda Civic collided with an HGV travelling in the opposite direction after his car crossed the central road markings at the brow of a hill.

It is thought that Mr Bray had been texting a friend while driving at the time of the crash.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Greater Suffolk Coroner Peter Dean said: “This emphasises the hazards of potentially being distracted by the use of mobile phones or other electronic equipment while driving,”

Mr Bray, who worked as an apprentice at an engineering firm in Glemsford was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Police investigations found nothing wrong with either of the vehicles involved in the collision and both drivers tested negative for alcohol and drugs.

However, it emerged that Mr Bray's mobile phone, which shattered into four pieces following the collision, had been used to send and receive several text messages in the moments leading up to the crash.

Some of the messages had been sent to a female friend.

Crash investigator Pc Cribb said he had looked into possible reasons for Mr Bray's car steering into the path of the HGV but could only conclude it was “highly probable” it had been as a result of his actions.

The court heard at the timing of text messages - obtained from Mr Bray's service provider O2 - “strongly suggested” he had been using his mobile phone at the time of the crash itself.

Mr Bray's mother Deb told the court her son had no problems at the time and that everything in his life was coming together.

At the time of the accident she told The Evening Star how her son was “the happiest he had ever been” prior to the collision.

In a moving tribute she described how he had landed his dream job and often talked about how lucky he was.

She said: “We couldn't have wanted a better son we were very proud of him and he was very happy with his life.

“He was so pleased to have got the job in the last couple of months, I'd say he was the happiest he'd ever been. He wanted to be a good engineer. Ever since he was little from the first day he could sit up he would pull things apart. He appreciated he was very lucky to have found a job he wanted to do.”

Mr Bray had lived in Stowupland since he was born. He attended Stowupland High School and after leaving got a job at the Rannochs Factory in Haughley. He had been working at Glemsford-based Cannon Avent since last summer and studied part time at West Suffolk College.