Mystery over Bentilee crash that killed Bucknall driver Gary Drewery
A MAN with a history of depression and seizures died after his car careered into a tree.
Father-of-three Gary Drewery suffered fatal internal bleeding following the crash in Beverley Drive, Bentilee, last November.
But yesterday's Hartshill inquest was unable to determine why the collision occurred.
North Staffordshire Coroner Ian Smith, who recorded an open verdict, said it was impossible to know whether Mr Drewery intended to kill himself, or whether the 47-year-old lost control of his car after suffering a fit.
Cheap Car Insurance For Drink Drivers -Contact Insure365 01782...View details
Cheap Car Insurance For Drink Drivers -Contact Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Protection Included valued at £25.00
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Friday, June 21 2013
The inquest heard how Mr Drewery, of Wooliscroft Road, Bucknall, had suffered from learning difficulties all his life, following a problematic birth.
He had also been prescribed anti-depressants, as well as anti-epilepsy drugs following several seizures.
Sister Jane Colclough told the court her brother had a driving licence, but his driving had become 'erratic'.
She said: "He'd had an accident before in an alley. He'd panicked and got himself stuck, and rammed his car into some garages. The car was written off.
"He used to be a very good driver. He passed his test first time, and was always careful and wore his seatbelt. But later on he started to get a bit erratic."
Mrs Colclough also said that her brother had been 'very depressed' about being denied access to his three children following the breakdown of his marriage.
On November 1, Mr Drewery had given his friend Clare Bartley a lift to an address in Bentilee.
She told the inquest that Mr Drewery's driving had given her cause for concern.
She said: "He was in a world of his own, and pulled out in front of a car at a roundabout. I'd had to tell him to put his seatbelt on."
At around 4.45pm Mr Drewery was alone in his Peugeot 307 and driving up Beverley Drive.
Witness Jody Grime was walking along the road and saw the crash happen.
She said: "It was weird. The car was going slowly, but then it just went over to the other side and went into the tree.
"I ran over to the car and opened the door. I saw he didn't have his seat belt on, and he was trapped under the steering wheel."
Miss Grime told the inquest that there were no pedestrians crossing the road, or any other vehicles in the vicinity, at the time of the crash.
Paramedics attended the scene but Mr Drewery died shortly after arriving at hospital.
A post-mortem examination revealed that he had suffered cuts to his liver, probably caused by the steering wheel.
Toxicology tests showed that Mr Drewery had used cannabis, but had neglected to take his anti-epilepsy medicine.
Collision investigator PC Carl Kelsall said the track marks left by the car on a grass verge indicated that it was not being braked.
He told the court that this meant it was unlikely that Mr Drewery had been attempting to avoid a pedestrian.
Mrs Colclough said she was content with the open verdict.
She said: "I've never been able to decide myself why Gary crashed, so I think an open verdict is the right one. Gary was the best son to his mum and dad, and we really miss him."