Black Notley Man who died after Thaxted crash “desperately” tried to regain control of his vehicle before collision

Reis Farley-Hearn died December last year. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Reis Farley-Hearn died December last year. Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Archant

A Black Notley man “desperately” tried to regain control of his van before a fatal crash in Thaxted shortly before Christmas, an inquest heard.

Reis Farley-Hearn died on December 19 after his Mercedes van collided with a Volkswagen on the B184, Dunmow Road.

The Volkswagen driver, meanwhile, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, it was reported.

At an inquest into Mr Farley-Hearn's death held on Friday (May 17) in Chelmsford, senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray gave the cause of death as multiple injuries from a road traffic collision.

Toxicology analysis recorded traces of cocaine in Mr Farley-Hearn's system at the time of the collision, the court also heard.

PC Jason Howard, who investigated the crash, told the hearing that vehicle examinations indicated Mr Farley-Hearn, aged 28, had not been wearing a seat belt and had been driving with dipped headlights. There was, however, insufficient evidence to say what speed the vehicles involved were travelling at.

PC Howard, from the forensic road collision investigation team, said: "At about 6pm it was dark, the weather was cold and damp, the road surface was wet and visibility was clear."

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After driving around a gentle left hand bend and negotiating a right hand bend, it appeared the car began to "yaw", most likely a result of "harsh steering".

The Mercedes continued across the carriageway before heading into the path of the incoming Volkswagen.

The 28-year-old had applied steering to "keep control" but by that point the vehicle was "out of control", PC Howard said.

Mrs Beasley-Murray said: "He was desperately trying to regain control."

PC Howard said possible causes of the incident could have included fatigue, inattention or distraction. He also pointed out that Mr Farley-Hearn had used cocaine at some point before the collision.

Addressing Mr Farley-Hearn's family, Mrs Beasley-Murray described his death as a "tragedy".

She said: "We will never quite know what was going through his mind, whether he had been distracted just before he approached that part of the road. He was clearly much loved. Not only have you lost him but have had the ordeal of sitting through the inquest and you have done that with dignity. I hope you will be able to look back at the happy memories you have with him."

Following his death, Mr Farley-Hearn's family described him as "the most incredible partner, brother, son, uncle, godfather and friend".

In a statement they said: "He was always the loudest and funniest character in the room and had everyone continuously laughing.

"Reis would always care for all his family and friends and was the most loyal person. Reis is now back in the comfort of his mum, who sadly passed away eight years ago. We love and miss you, forever and always."

A regular for White Notley Football Club, Mr Farley-Hearn had also played for other local teams including Braintree Town.