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Churchdown dad died in crash on his way to pick up his daughter, inquest told

By The Citizen  |  Posted: August 21, 2014

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DAD Paul Cooke died in a car crash while on his way to pick up his daughter for the weekend, an inquest heard yesterday.

The 30-year-old was travelling from his home in Churchdown to collect his daughter in Lydney at around 11am on Saturday, January 18, when he collided with trees on the A48 in Lensbrook, near Blakeney.

Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Cooke had “underestimated his speed” as he negotiated a turning and lost control of his Seat Leon.

He was seen overtaking three or four vehicles on a dual carriageway section of the A48, the inquest heard.

Mr Cooke lost control just after the road turned back to a single carriageway.

The inquest heard from several drivers who witnessed the incident.

In a written statement, Adam Mercia said: “The Seat came past us at about 80mph.

“I said to my wife, ‘look how fast he is going, he is skidding’. I had a clear vision of the collision in front of us.”

Mr Cooke, who worked at Waterwells plastics factory Rochling, was a confident driver and had driven high performance motorbikes for many years, the inquest heard.

In a statement read out in court, his ex-partner and mother of his child, Lisa Cooke, said: “I would describe his driving as quick. He would often overtake.

“Given his riding experience he was a confident driver.”

Collision investigation officer PC Darren Williams estimated that Mr Cooke was travelling at 80mph at the time of the collision.

“He was travelling too fast and suffered understeer. This caused him to lose control,” he said.

The inquest heard that Mr Cooke suffered a massive impact to the head.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Senior coroner Katie Skerrett, said: “It is clear that Paul was planning to collect his daughter that morning. He was seeking to make swift progress.

“It may be down to his excessive speed or that he tried to get back into the single carriageway that he lost control, left the road and hit several trees.”

The coroner recorded a conclusion of death by road traffic collision.

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