Driver made 'very tragic error of judgement'

A young father died when his car took off and crashed into a tree after overtaking other vehicles on a wet road at an estimated 70mph, an inquest has heard.

North Yorkshire East Coroner Michael Oakley said Joe Greening, who lived with his girlfriend and children, was the victim of a "very tragic error of judgment".

Mr Greening, 26, of Constantine Crescent, Crossgates, near Scarborough, a machine operator, was on his way to work at Kingspan Wards in Sherburn using a route he knew well.

His silver Vauxhall Corsa crashed opposite Merry Lees Caravan Park at 5.50am on the A64 between Staxton and Seamer last August.

Mr Oakley heard no alcohol or drugs were found in Mr Greening's system and no other cars were involved in the collision.

But traffic constable Stuart Langford, a North Yorkshire Police crash investigator, told Scarborough Coroner's Court that the road was wet following heavy rain when tragedy struck just before 6am.

He added that while Mr Greening had not been wearing a seatbelt it would not have saved his life because of the severity of the impact.

Just before the accident, Mr Greening's Corsa car had overtaken a camper van and a car and he had been travelling to the village of Sherburn to start his shift. One of the drivers of the vehicles had said Mr Greening was "absolutely travelling" and the other that he had been driving "at some speed", estimating it had been about 70mph.

His car then struck the kerb, went onto a verge and became air born – before spinning and hitting the tree at an estimated 46mph, he believed.

The impact tore the vehicle apart and Mr Greening died from multiple injuries.

Recording an accident verdict, Mr Oakley said: "It appears to have been a simple by very tragic error of judgement when he was overtaking."

He was described as "the nicest person you could meet" by friends.