Ipswich truck driver in death crash

AN IPSWICH man has spoken of the traumatic moment a car ploughed into his lorry resulting in the death of the teenage driver.

AN IPSWICH man has spoken of the traumatic moment a car ploughed into his lorry resulting in the death of the teenage driver.

Gary Howlett, from Ipswich, was injured in the crash that claimed the life of 19-year-old Aaron McConnell in Leicestershire last December.

In a statement read to the hearing Mr Howlett described the moment of impact.

He said: "I came over the brow of the hill and saw a car coming towards me.

"He seemed to panic and put his foot on the foot brake causing him to swerve onto my side of the road, back on to his, and then back on to mine. Everything happened in a split second."

Louise Bird, a passenger in Mr McConnell's car when it crashed with Mr Howlett's 7.5 tonne truck on the A606 near Whissendine told the inquest in Loughborough yesterday that they were driving to Melton when the accident happened at 11.05pm.

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Ms Bird, who had recently moved in with Mr McConnell in Oakham, said at the time he was distracted by a whistling sound from his Renault Clio's dashboard.

She said: "Aaron was trying to see what it was. He was bashing the dash to see if it was the air vents."

Ms Bird said he then moved the steering wheel to see if that was the cause of the noise, and that was when he lost control.

She said: "We started to go on the wrong side of the road. He grabbed the wheel and pulled it back but we still went towards the (lorry's) headlights. I just shut my eyes."

The inquest heard Mr McConnell's car veered across the lines in the middle of the road on a bend and into the path of the lorry.

Both Mr McConnell and Ms Bird were wearing their seat belts, but he was still thrown from the car by the force of the impact.

Deputy coroner Carolyn Hull recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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