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Father-of-two died in head-on crash near Ixworth, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 19:02 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:07 17 December 2019

Jamie Finlay, 28, of Green Road in Woolpit, died following a two-vehicle crash in Ixworth. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Jamie Finlay, 28, of Green Road in Woolpit, died following a two-vehicle crash in Ixworth. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

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A “cheeky” father-of-two from Woolpit died in a high-speed, head-on collision on the A1088, an inquest heard.

Jamie Finlay, 28, died at Addenbrooke's Hospital three days after a two-vehicle crash near Ixworth on May 8, 2017.

At an inquest into his death, at Suffolk Coroner's Court, Mr Finlay's mother described him as a "cheeky" young man who was "full of energy".

The inquest heard Mr Finlay was in the passenger seat of a grey BMW being driven by friend and colleague Ryan Pettit northbound towards Thetford.

Mr Pettit told the inquest as he was driving around a right hand bend he spotted a Nissan Navara 4x4, being driven by Graeme Spittle, in a central filter lane heading southbound, indicating to turn right across his path.

He told the inquest he was driving within the speed limit of 60mph and turned right in an attempt to drive round the vehicle, which he said was a third of the way into his lane.

He said the Navara then turned back into the filter lane, and the two collided head on.

Mr Pettit said he had smoked cannabis the evening before but said he had not been unfit to drive.

Giving evidence, Mr Spittle said he had not been in the oncoming lane and that Mr Pettit had been driving in excess of the speed limit.

The inquest heard Mr Spittle had given "inconsistent" accounts of what had happened in separate police statements, although he said this was because he was suffering from shock.

Collision investigator, PC Jeffrey Cribb, told the inquest it could not be determined how fast Mr Pettit was travelling or exactly where Mr Spittle's vehicle was at the time of the crash.

However, he did say the collision happened before a bollard prior to the junction turning, indicating Mr Spittle was in the process of making an illegal turn.

He said the road was not dangerous, but added extra bollards could make it safer.

Mr Finlay was rushed to Addenbrooke's Hospital where scans revealed he had suffered a traumatic head injury.

He died on May 10, 2017, after his life support was switched off.

Concluding the inquest, area coroner Jacqueline Devonish, said: "Jamie Finlay died whilst a passenger in a vehicle which was driven at speed and which the brake was not applied to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle which was turning right before the filter lane bollard."

Family tribute

Mr Finlay's mother Irene described her son as a "nice young man and a great dad".

After attending Woolpit Primary School and Beyton Middle School, Mr Finlay left Stowupland High School at 16, eager to get into the world of work.

He had worked at Greene King and a scents and perfume business before getting a new job as a window fitter soon before his death.

The inquest heard he had a love of animals, kept tropical fish and was a fan of Tottenham Hotspur.

"Jamie was always very hyper," Mrs Finlay said.

"He was a cheeky little boy too - something that remained with him through the years.

"He grew up into a really nice young man and a great dad.

"He was a kind and loving man and loved his two sons Oscar, nine, and Charlie, six."

She thanked those at the scene who rushed to her son's aid, as well as the police, ambulance staff and the coroner's court for their support.

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