BBC Wales music's James McLaren walked into the path of lorry after crash between Magor and Chepstow
A MAN died after he walked into the path of a lorry on the M48 between Magor and Chepstow after his car crashed, an inquest heard yesterday.
Gwent Coroner’s Court sitting at Newport heard James Kinloch McLaren, 34, a former production editor with the Big Issue Cymru, died on August 6, 2012 following a collision with a Heavy Goods Vehicle between 10am and 10.30am.
The inquest heard Mr McLaren, a BBC Wales assistant producer, was driving home to Cardiff from a weekend with friends in Redditch when his car veered off the road as it was travelling eastbound on the M48, through the barrier and into some bushes.
Police found no explanation or defect in the car to explain why Mr McLaren’s car left the road. When Mr McLaren emerged, apparently unscathed, he seemed confused.
Witness Dorothy Whitford, from St Arvans, was travelling westbound on the motorway. She said: “I had a clear view of the eastbound carriageway.
I could see a blue lorry about a quarter of mile away.
“I then saw a man walk out from some bushes and walk on to the hard shoulder.”
Mrs Whitford said the man, Mr McLaren, seemed confused and walked on to the hard shoulder before walking into the path of an oncoming Mercedes articulated lorry.
Although the lorry braked severely and the driver, Michael Lewis, swerved, he could not avoid hitting Mr McLaren.
An investigation by Gwent Police’s forensic collision investigation unit found Mr Lewis, from Rhymney, had done everything he could to avoid hitting Mr McLaren.
Gwent coroner David Bowen said: “The car driven by Mr McLaren collided with the crash barrier and left the road, and came to rest in some undergrowth.
“From the evidence given Mr McLaren appeared to have escaped the incident unharmed.
“Eye witness accounts describe Mr McLaren’s actions as deliberate – he appeared to be trying to attract assistance.
“Despite the first collision leaving him apparently unharmed, it was serious enough to presume Mr McLaren was shocked and possibly concussed.”
Apost-mortem examination found Mr McLaren died as a result of multiple injuries.
A blood analysis confirmed there were no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.