A young man may have been trying to avoid a deer on a country road when he
was fatally injured in a crash as he drove home to Mellis, an inquest has heard.
Will Smith, 20, was declared dead at the scene where his pick-up had collided
head-on with a tree in Eye Road, Hoxne on the late evening of July 22.
On Friday an inquest at Bury St Edmunds heard that Mr Smith had been
forced by road closures to take a route he would not normally use to reach his
home at The Common, Mellis.
Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said tests had confirmed that he was well under the legal drink-drive limit.
In a statement, John Greenwood said he had heard a noise outside his bungalow
in Eye Road, Hoxne and went to investigate, finding Mr Smith inside the crashed
Mr Greenwood said red deer were frequently seen in the area and crossed the
An examination of Mr Smith’s vehicle found no defects which could have contributed
to the accident.
Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said police who investigated the collision were unable
to say conclusively what had caused Mr Smith to lose control on a bend but being
confronted by a large animal such as a deer in the road was a possibility.
His father Simon Smith described him as a “natural driver” having had much experience with farm machinery. He added in a statement: “Many people miss Will. His personality and nature was exemplary.”
Dr Dean recorded a conclusion of accidental death, stating a deer being the cause was a “significant possibility”.