A ‘WONDERFUL’ dad died days after he was struck by a vehicle whilst attempting to exit the car he was driving, which had crashed into barriers on the A31, an inquest has heard. 

Stephen Swanson, from Talmey Close in Chineham, died at Southampton General Hospital on December 30, 2021, following a collision near Minstead on December 27.

He was driving a Ford Focus when it hit the central reservation leaving the car facing oncoming traffic.

The court heard he was uninjured but when attempting to leave the vehicle he was involved in a collision with a Honda Civic.

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His family previously paid tribute to him, saying “he was a wonderful dad and grandad, and we will treasure all of our amazing memories with him”.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard on Wednesday, August 4 how the 69-year-old "lost control of the vehicle" and was over three times the drink-drive limit. 

He was found on the grass verge, while the Ford Focus was left with the handbrake on, leading to police officers thinking he was exiting the car when he was hit by a Honda Civic being driven by Mathew Peterson.

He was taken to Southampton hospital but despite best efforts was pronounced dead three days later.

In a report read out at the inquest, Mr Peterson said: “This first thing I saw was a dark outline and I know I had seen something and hit the brakes, but I knew it was a case of hitting it as less as possible."

Kim Taylor, who was travelling in a nearby car with her husband, said Mr Swanson's vehicle “appeared to be out of control”.

Her husband added: “The car accelerated and the next thing I recall is seeing small spinning lights in the distance."

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Senior coroner Christopher Wilkinson, concluded that Mr Swanson died as a result of a road traffic collision.

He said: “We know he (Mr Swanson) lost control of the vehicle which resulted in it impacting the central reservation. There is no clear explanation to know what distracted him.

“There is a potential explanation of tiredness and perhaps most importantly the level of alcohol in his blood at the time of the incident.

“It seems he was not injured and was in the process of exiting the car when the Honda impacted on the rear of the vehicle.

“At that point in time the driver of the Honda would not have had time to react to avoid collision with the stationary Ford.”

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