US airman killed in crash sent text message shortly before he lost control of car, inquest told

Staff Sgt. Hunter Davis, who died after a crash on the B1112 Eriswell Road ANL-160906-114729001
Staff Sgt. Hunter Davis, who died after a crash on the B1112 Eriswell Road ANL-160906-114729001

A US airman sent a text message shortly before he lost control of his car and was killed in a crash at Eriswell, an inquest has heard.

Staff Sergeant Hunter Davis, 27, was involved in a collision with two oncoming vehicles on the B1112 on the morning of June 7.

Today (Monday) an inquest at Bury St Edmunds heard how Sgt Davis, who was stationed at RAF Mildenhall, had been travelling from Lords Walk in the direction of Eriswell when witnesses described how his Subaru car crossed into the path of an oncoming Vauxhall car.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone said the Subaru had ‘exploded’ in a shower of debris on impact with the Vauxhall before spinning further down the road into the pah of an oncoming Jeep.

The inquest heard how despite efforts to avoid a further collision, the Jeep driver pulled up onto the kerb but was struck by the Subaru.

Sgt Davis’ car went beneath the Jeep.

Police collision investigator Pc Andrew Fossey said in a statement that it had not been possible to establish the speed of Sgt Davis’ car but a USAF colleague who had been travelling behind the Subaru said it was possibly about 60mph.

Pc Fossey said no defects had been found with the road and the drivers of the other two vehicles involved had been unable to avoid an impact.

The inquest heard that less than three minutes before a 999 call reporting the crash was made to the emergency services, phone records indicated that Sgt Davis sent a text message. It had not been possible to examine his mobile phone, however. Pc Fossey said his investigation concluded that Sgt Davis failed to neogotiate a bend immediately before the collisions and lost control of his car after becoming distracted by something within the vehicle, possibly his mobile phone.

A post mortem examination showed that Sgt Davis died as a result of multiple head, chest an abdominal injuries.

Assistant Coroner Dr Sharpstone recorded a conclusion that Sgt Davis died as a result of a road traffic collision.