Crash victim was not wearing seatbelt

A FATHER-of-three who was killed after his car swerved to avoid a rabbit may have survived if he had been wearing a seatbelt an inquest has heard.Russell Covey, 34, died at the scene of the accident on the B1077 outside Ashbocking, near Ipswich, after being thrown from his Mercedes 109 after he crashed into a fence.

A FATHER-of-three who was killed after his car swerved to avoid a rabbit may have survived if he had been wearing a seatbelt an inquest has heard.

Russell Covey, 34, died at the scene of the accident on the B1077 outside Ashbocking, near Ipswich, after being thrown from his Mercedes 109 after he crashed into a fence.

The inquest at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday heard how Mr Covey, of The Green, Ashbocking, had been driving towards his home village at about 9.30pm on February 7 this year when the accident happened.

Giving evidence, Pc Darren Sargent said road markings indicated that he had swerved to avoid a rabbit and the carcass of the animal was later discovered in the road.


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He said: “In my opinion Mr Covey was travelling towards Ashbocking when he introduced sharp and harsh steering to avoid something in the carriageway.

“The only thing in the carriageway consistent with the collision was the carcass of a rabbit.

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“In relation to this particular collision, Mr Covey was not wearing a seatbelt which was the overriding factor in his unfortunate injuries.

“Had he been wearing a seatbelt he wouldn't have been ejected from the car and sustained such serious injuries.”

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Covey had died of multiple injuries resulting from a road traffic accident.

Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: “It does appear he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time which really does emphasise the importance of wearing seatbelts.

“It appears the accident itself took place as a consequence of instinctive action to avoid an animal in the road. In the act of saving something else it cost him his own life.”

The road also claimed the life of two others, Kirsten Duffus, 19, and Henry Wingate, 24, at the end of last year.

n. Do you want to pay tribute to Mr Covey? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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