A MAN who was killed after his car veered into the path of an oncoming truck was taking medication which could cause drowsiness.

Christopher James Shepherd, 78, died on August 17 last year when his Ford Focus estate hit a tipper truck head, an inquest heard.

Matthew Jones, the driver of the heavy goods vehicle travelling between a quarry in Wensley, near Leyburn, and Bedale, told the Northallerton inquest there was nothing more he could have done to avoid the crash.

Mr Jones said he was on Hauxwell Lane, known locally as the Tank Road, which runs between Leyburn and Tunstall at around 1.30pm, when he noticed the car veering towards him.

“I saw him from about quarter of a mile away and thought he would go back into his lane but he just kept coming into my lane. I hit the brakes hard but he was completely in my lane when we hit.”

Traffic Constable Steve Gardner said a reconstruction of the crash showed Mr Jones slowed from 50mph to 12mph at the point of impact, and there was no evidence that Mr Shepherd, who suffered multiple injuries, had applied his brakes and was not wearing a seatbelt.

Coroner Rob Turnbull said Mr Shepherd, from Leeming Bar, had a history of depression but he could not be certain it was a deliberate act as he may have suffered from drowsiness from his prescribed medication.

Mr Turnbull concluded Mr Shepherd died as a result of a road traffic collision.