Driver could have “fallen asleep” before fatal crash in Hemingford Grey


- Credit: Archant

The death of a Hartford man in a crash near Hemingford Grey last year could have come about after he fell asleep at the wheel, an inquest heard.

Luke Richard Kuliczkowski

Luke Richard Kuliczkowski - Credit: Archant

Luke Kuliczkowski, of Florida Avenue, was killed after his red Vauxhall Tigra left Cambridge Road at Galley Hill, which runs parallel to the westbound A14, on October 4 last year.

The 36-year-old was travelling home, after midnight, following a night shift at Stanstead Airport, when his car hit the verge next to the road and careered into the field.

The car then tipped and Mr Kuliczkowski became trapped between the roof of the car and the field.

It wasn’t until around 5am that Mr Kuliczkowski was found by a passer-by and the emergency services were called.

PC Matthew Bill, of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire collision investigation unit, told the inquest that there was no evidence on the road surface or the grass that Mr Kuliczkowski had tried to break to stop the crash.

It was also discovered that Mr Kuliczkowski was not wearing his seat belt whilst driving as there “were no signs of fraying that would be expected,” said PC Bill.

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Assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Sam Bass heard at the inquest on Thursday, March 3, that there was presence of amphetamines and cannabis in the precision engineer’s system at the time of his death.

Mr Kuliczkowski’s mother, Denise Allen, said: “Luke had suffered with chronic sleep apnoea for years and had gone to Papworth Hospital with a former friend to get treatment.”

It is not known whether the drugs were being used “acutely or clinically” according to coroner Dr Bass.

The inquest was told that the Mr Kuliczkowski died as a result of positional asphyxia which meant that he was in a position that made it impossible for him to breath.

PC Bill concluded that the “most likely explanation for the crash was that Mr Kuliczkowski had fallen asleep at the wheel”.

PC Bill added that the road conditions were good on the day of the crash and there was no evidence that the vehicle had any defects which would have caused the accident.

Dr Bass expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Mr Harvey and concluded that his death was accidental.

Talking to Mr Kuliczkowi’s family, he said: “It is obviously a tragedy and I feel the pain you must be suffering and I hope this will give you some sort of closure.”