Collision injuries responsible for man’s death three days later

North Devon Magistrates' Court. North Devon Magistrates' Court.

Thursday, August 7, 2014
1:46 PM

Coroner concludes 56-year-old farmer died as a result of injuries sustained in collision in Bishops Tawton last year.

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A CORONER has ruled that injuries sustained when a man blacked out and crashed his car into a lamppost contributed to his death three days later.

Retired farmer Kevin Richards, 56, of Burrow Road, Ilfracombe, died on June 1, 2013, from a perforated spleen, less than 24 hours after leaving hospital.

Mr Richards, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011, had been undergoing treatment at Derriford Hospital following a stem cell transplant.

He was driving home from the hospital on May 29 with his cousin in the car when he momentarily blacked out and crashed on the A377 in Bishops Tawton.

The inquest heard he was taken to A&E where he was found to have a large haematoma on his neck but did not complain of any other symptoms.

The following day Mr Richards was discharged but in the early hours of June 1 he told his partner Lesley Cleave he felt delirious, before collapsing in the bathroom.

Mr Cleave told the inquest he felt Mr Richards ‘died instantly’ but ‘futilely’ attempted CPR before he was taken to hospital and pronounced dead.

A post mortem showed Mr Richards had died from an intra-abdominal haemorrhage due to a perforated spleen due to trauma.

An enlarged spleen, due to his lymphoma, had also contributed to his death.

Coroner Elizabeth Earland said she was satisfied that Mr Richards’ death was due to the injuries sustained in the collision and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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