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Terror of delivery driver in fatal crash

PUBLISHED: 04:38 14 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:28 03 March 2010

DELIVERY driver Keith Peck today told of the moments of terror as he watched a car "pinball" into a fatal side-on collision with his seven-and-a-half tonne van.

DELIVERY driver Keith Peck today told of the moments of terror as he watched a car "pinball" into a fatal side-on collision with his seven-and-a-half tonne van.

Mystery surrounds why the driver of the other vehicle lost control in the freak accident - which claimed the life of a Hertfordshire family man.

"I was carrying a full load," said cleaning supplies deliveryman Mr Peck, of Kingston Road, Ipswich. "It must have been like hitting a brick wall."

The 40-year-old today considers himself lucky to have lived through the ordeal as he surveyed the wreckage and thought "That was close".

An inquest found no explanation as to why Joseph Victor, of Colliers End, near Ware in Hertfordshire, began to swerve erratically as he made his way home from a shopping trip on an Enfield Road.

Father-of-two Mr Peck, who was travelling towards the Enfield office of Industrial Supplies from their office in Great Blakenham, told the coroner's court in Hornsey, north London that he saw the car "swerve sharply as if to miss something".

He said that the car swerved back out to the car in front of him and then back again, towards the centre of the road and then back towards the kerb.

"He seemed to overcorrect himself. He hit the kerb, swung round and the car was turning and hit me side on.

"It was like one of those pinball machines," Mr Peck said today. "The police investigator assumed the car must have tried to overtake but I said 'No – he was coming in the opposite direction'. He had never seen anything like it."

Mr Peck had tried to get as far as he could to the nearside of the road to avoid collision but the could do nothing to avert disaster.

After the side-on impact, he saw the crumpled form of Mr Victor directly opposite in the driver's seat after his medium-sized Rover came rest.

Mr Victor received "very severe" injuries to his spine, head, ribs and heart in the accident on the afternoon of November 29 last year, the inquest heard.

Paramedics, who arrived very quickly on the scene, resuscitated Mr Victor but he died shortly afterwards.

Mr Peck escaped with whiplash and a sprained wrist. "I was very lucky," he said.

"The family came up to me after the inquest and thanked me for coming and said I shouldn't blame myself. I was just sorry that after the inquest nothing was clearer than before.

"It was an experience I wouldn't want to relive. It was an accident. No one was to blame. It was just a sad accident."

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