Accidental death verdict on family man killed by flying motorway debris

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A FAMILY man was killed when a piece of motorway debris smashed through his car windscreen and lodged in his face, an inquest heard.

The 2lb metal clamp plate was thrown up from the carriageway into the air by another vehicle and hurtled into Mr Pearson’s Vauxhall Vectra, embedding in his jaw and causing “catastrophic injuries”.

The 15cm by 10cm object was so deep that paramedics only noticed it when they began emergency resuscitation on the way to hospital.

Despite being conscious enough to bring the car safely to a halt and check his family were unharmed, Mr Pearson suffered massive blood loss and went into cardiac arrest in the back of an ambulance, seconds from hospital.

The 41-year-old married father-of-one was pronounced dead at 12.08pm at Royal Preston Hospital.

An inquest into the “down to earth, hard-working family man”, in Preston, Lancashire, was told that police accident investigators had failed to trace the origins of the piece of debris and that it had probably been lying on the M6 northbound carriageway for some time.

Mr Pearson, from Halifax, had been on a family trip out to Blackpool with wife Danielle, daughter Jessie and her friend.

The hearing was told that Mrs Pearson grabbed the steering wheel and Mr Pearson brought the car to a halt, despite a deep laceration above his mouth and multiple jaw and skull fractures.

Assistant Deputy Coroner for Preston and West Lancashire, Sian Jones, said his actions were “astonishing” and that they averted further chaos on the busy motorway.

Paramedic Benjamin Johnston said Mr Pearson was able to get on to the stretcher himself, but during the seven-minute journey to the hospital he had significant bleeding.

Mr Johnston said: “He went rigid and wasn’t responding. I took his pulse but there wasn’t one. I tried to clear away debris and secure an airway and that’s when I noticed the object in his mouth.”

Dr Lee Helliwell said Mr Pearson suffered a cardiac arrest just outside the hospital and that he tried to remove the metallic plate. The cause of death was recorded as severe facial injuries with a verdict of accidental death.