Driver, 87, suffered cardiac arrest in lead up to fatal crash near village

The inquest was heard at Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon.

The inquest was heard at Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon. - Credit: Archant

An 87-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest before his car left the road and crashed into a tree in Old Weston, an inquest heard.

Thomas Beeby, of Brington Road, careered across the junction with Brington Road and the B660 before his red Suzuki Grand Vitara hit a tree on November 10, last year.

Prior to the collision, the retired farmer had been at the Racehorse pub, in Catworth, and complained to landlord Gordon Marks that he had been feeling unwell.

Mr Marks, in a statement read at the hearing, said: “Mr Beeby had called the pub earlier and spoke to my barman to say he was on the way to the pub and wasn’t feeling well.”

Mr Beeby, from Old Weston, had also called the pub to order a bottle of brandy, as he had done on previous occasions.

“I gave him the bottle of brandy and told him not to pay for it and we will sort it out tomorrow. He was a little grey looking and said he didn’t feel well,” said Mr Marks.

After offering Mr Beeby a lift home, which he declined, Mr Marks followed him to make sure he was safe.

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He discovered that Mr Beeby was not home and after earlier spotting a gap in the bushes at the junction he decided to go back to the scene, where he found his friend.

An inquest into his death at Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon, heard the widower was pronounced dead at 7.10pm. A toxicologist report found there was no alcohol in Mr Beeby’s system – only prescribed medication.

A collision investigation carried out by PC Matthew Bill found “various marks striking the kerbs”.

In a statement, PC Bill said: “It was clear Mr Beeby knew the road well and would have driven it on a number of occasions.

“There is simply no explanation for him leaving the road at that point other than for some medical evidence. There is clear supporting evidence of significant underlying heart disease.”

David Heming, senior coroner for Cambridgeshire, concluded that Mr Beeby died from traumatic injuries and hypertensive heart disease.

He said: “Considering the circumstances of how he left the road he is most likely to have suffered an arrhythmia.”