North East Wales

Deaths of two men on Chirk bridge ruled accidental

Hefin Jones
Image caption Truck driver Hefin Jones left a wife and two daughters

Verdicts of accidental death have been recorded on two men who died in a road accident on the A483 Chirk bridge on the Wrexham-Shropshire border.

Stewart Davies, 45, of Mold, Flintshire, and William Thomas Hefin Jones, 43, from Cardigan, Cardiganshire, died of head injuries.

The accident involved a cattle wagon, chemical tanker and a car.

The Shrewsbury inquest heard some of the animals fell 142ft (42m) to their deaths in the Ceiriog Valley.

The driver of the chemical tanker, John Teeton from Stoke on Trent, told the hearing the cattle truck had been travelling 500m (1,641ft) in front of him.

Mr Davies' approaching silver Mercedes collided with the cattle wagon which turned on its side. The car then hit the tanker "head on".

Pc Lois Ellis, from West Mercia Police's Collision Investigation Unit said she had examined the vehicles and the scene after the accident in March 2010.

Image caption The crash caused gridlock in the area

She concluded the Mercedes had been on the wrong side when it collided with the cattle wagon.

Investigating Officer, Robert Seager, said he had arrived at the scene and found the drivers of the cattle wagon and the car trapped in their vehicles.

Both men died instantly.

The officer called for a vet and police firearms officers to deal with the cows, some of which were loose and others which were still trapped in the trailer.

Pc Seager told the inquest Mr Davies, a factory worker at the Airbus plant at Broughton, Flintshire, had left work early after receiving a personal phone call.

Gridlock

The north Shropshire Coroner, John Ellery, said he knew the reason Mr Davies had asked to go home, adding: "It may well explain his lack of concentration or judgement."

But he said he was not prepared to disclose it because "it would impact on two other people."

Recording his verdicts of accidental death, Mr Ellery said: "There is no evidence this was a deliberate piece of driving on Mr Davies' part."

The A5 is a main route from Holyhead to London and the closure, in March, caused gridlock in Chirk as traffic was diverted through the town.

The crash led to calls for the road to be upgraded to a dual carriageway.

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