Former bomb disposal expert dies in Doncaster car ditch incident

A former bomb disposal expert died after losing control of his car on a sharp bend and crashing into a ditch, an inquest heard.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 7:40 am
Ben Hart, aged 24, died following a collision in Oak Lane, Sykehouse. He is pictured here with his fiance Natalie King, aged 24, and son Alex.

Ben Hart, aged 24, sustained fatal injures after driving as little as two mph too fast around a sharp left turn in Oak Road, Sykehouse, causing his silver Vauxhall Astra to crash into a ditch.

In a statement read out at Doncaster Coroners’ Court, mum Sharon said: “Ben was devoted to his son (Alex) and in a fabulous relationship with (fiance) Natalie. He had so much to live for. The accident came as a complete shock to us all.“

She added that he died just a few days before his birthday and he and Natalie were due to be married this year.

Mr Hart had spent three years working as an army bomb disposal officer but had recently taken a job as a relief driver for Hermitage Farm in Braithwaite.

He was driving back to his home in Kingsway, Goole, at about 6.20pm on November 24 last year when the collision happened.

Accident investigator PC Gregg Beatson said the road has a 60mph limit and Mr Hart was travelling at almost half that at 31mph when he took the ‘90 degree angle’ bend.

He told the court ideally motorists should take the bend at no more than 25mph but could still successfully negotiate it taking a “wider angle” at 29mph.

He said: “A handful of mph too quick meant the vehicle could not get around the bend.”

PC Beatson added Mr Hart may have become distracted for a moment changing a CD or adjusting the radio but accepted we will “never know the nature of the distraction.” The inquest heard police had examined his mobile phone and concluded it had not been used around the time of the collision.

The court heard Mr Hart was not wearing a seat belt but his injures are still likely to have been fatal even if he was.

PC Beatson said the seat belt only protects against impacts from the front or back and Mr Hart’s injuries were sustained from the driver’s side when the vehicle hit the ditch. The court heard there was no ice on the road.

A passing motorist rang emergency services and Mr Hart was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary but pronounced dead. A post mortem revealed he died of heart and lung failure caused by his injuries. Doncaster’s deputy coroner Fred Curtis recorded a conclusion of accidental death.