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Wolverhampton driver killed himself by crashing head on into lorry

A man took his own life by driving head on into an articulated lorry after splitting up with his wife, an inquest heard.


Peter Twyford, aged 41 and from Cavendish Gardens, Wolverhampton, was on anti-depressants and had text his wife to say he was leaving, before ploughing his Vauxhall Zafira into the lorry on the A449 near Coven on September 12 last year.

The lorry was parked in a layby on the road's southbound carriageway when the collision took place.

Emergency services were called at around 4.45am but were unable to save Mr Twyford.

Cannock Coroner's Court heard that Mr Twyford had just returned from a holiday on his own to Egypt before the smash.

A statement from Mr Twyford's wife Sarah said that the pair had been swapping text messages prior to his death.

She said: "He text me saying he was leaving."

But she understood he was just leaving the home they shared and had no idea that he was going to kill himself.

Mr Twyford and his wife had decided to split up following his return from holiday. The pair had not been getting on and it was decided that they should split. There was no third party involved in the breakdown of their relationship.

He had been taking anti-depressants following the split but no more than the recommended dosage was found in his body following toxicology tests. There was no alcohol found in Mr Twyford's blood stream and no other drugs or medication.

There was no suicide note and no reason for his wife or any of his friends and family to suspect that he would take his own life.

But despite this, evidence from the crash scene indicated Mr Twyford deliberately drove his car into the truck.

Special collision investigators were on the scene for eight hours examining the scene. No other people were injured in the crash.

Sergeant Richard Moors from West Midlands Police, who investigated the smash, said: "There was no skid marks to suggest Mr Twyford applied his brakes, no evidence that the car had swerved and nothing to suggest that he may have fallen asleep at the wheel."

Michael Smith, coroner's officer, said: "He suffered multiple injuries, nothing could be done for him when emergency services arrived and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mrs Margaret Jones, assistant coroner for South Staffordshire, said: "I conclude from the evidence provided that Mr Twyford's death was suicide. I offer his family my deepest of sympathy."

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