Body of dad, 54, lay undiscovered in field for fourteen hours after car crash

The body of a 54-year-old motorist lay undiscovered in a field for fourteen hours after his car hit a tree and careered off the road .

Dad-of-two William Ebrey had been for lunch and was driving home when he crashed his car, which came to a rest in a field outside the view of passing traffic.

It was spotted the same day by a passing cyclist who did not raise the alarm until he cycled past again the next day and could see the driver was still in the car. William was dead inside.

An inquest heard William was travelling home to Congleton in Cheshire when the crash happened on August 5, reports StokeonTrentLive.

He was found in his Skoda Octavia company car in a field off the A523 at Calton Moor, in the Staffordshire Moorlands, at 6am on August 6.

Emergency services attended but the father-of-two – who worked as a medical sales rep – was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cyclist Richard Haystead told police he had first seen the car the previous evening while on his way to work, but had not realised what had happened.

In a statement he said: "I only saw the nearside of the vehicle which was not badly damaged. I assumed someone had hit the tree and left the vehicle to be recovered.

"As I cycled home from work I noticed damage to a stone wall and the car with a man still sat in the vehicle. I was close enough to form the view that the occupant was deceased."

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was ‘multiple injuries’. It is thought William, of Berkshire Drive, Congleton, died instantly.

The inquest heard William was on medication for epilepsy and had suffered intermittent ‘vacant episodes’. But there was no evidence as to whether any medical condition had contributed to the accident.

A police investigation was carried out, which found there were no defects with the vehicle.

Collision investigator PC Sarah Mulvey told the hearing at North Staffordshire Coroners’ Court that the vehicle had been travelling from Swinscoe towards Waterhouses when William appears to have lost control on a sharp right bend.

She said: "The driver failed to negotiate the bend, resulting in the vehicle entering the grass verge causing furrows. The front offside of the vehicle collided with a mature tree causing it to pivot clockwise into a field to its final resting position in a wall. It is not possible on the evidence to say what speed the Skoda was travelling at."

PC Matthew Lovatt revealed that, despite public appeals, no witnesses to the collision had come forward.

Mobile cell site data suggested that the crash happened at around 2.25pm, and analysis of the car’s telematics device suggested William had driven at a maximum speed of 57mph during the journey.

He said: "There is no evidence as to why the collision happened other than driver error, inattention or distraction."

Assistant coroner Sarah Murphy concluded William died as a result of a road traffic collision. She said: "Unfortunately we will never know why he failed to negotiate that bend."

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