A lorry driver who died in a three-vehicle pile-up on a busy stretch of the M6 in Wigan may have “been distracted” moments before the crash, an inquest has heard.
Robert Mazur, 37, suffered fatal neck injuries in the collision, which occurred just off the slip road at junction 26 for Orrell on January 10 this year.
The crash, which happened at around 7.50am on the northbound carriageway of the motorway, involved three light goods vehicles which collided when Mr Mazur’s red lorry ploughed into them from behind.
Coroner Alan Walsh assessed evidence given by police officers who conducted a “substantial” investigation, as well as forensic examiners and eye-witnesses.
A post-mortem examination carried out by pathologist Stephen Wells concluded with a “negative” toxicology report – meaning that there were neither drugs nor alcohol in Mr Mazur’s system at the time of his death.
The police investigation also showed that “no mobile phones” were involved in the incident. Mr Walsh read out statements from officers, including PC Craig Arnold of Merseyside Police who conducted the investigation.
The inquest heard how Mr Mazur, who lived in Old Trafford, had been driving his LGV in the inside lane of the motorway when he drove past two matrix signs warning of a queue ahead, as traffic backed on to the carriageway from the Orrell slip road.
PC Arnold said: “Comparing the tracking data and CCTV footage, I’m satisfied that there was minimal reaction to the variable message signs.”
Eye-witnesses recalled seeing Mr Mazur’s lorry go into the back of another – which was then shunted forward into another light goods vehicle at the front. Debris spilled across all three lanes and police closed the road for hours while a clean-up operation was carried out.
According to PC Arnold, Mr Mazur was travelling at 55mph when he struck the lorry in front – which was travelling at 30 mph. The lack of tyre marks at the scene suggested to officers that the tragic driver must have been “momentarily distracted”, causing him to plough into the slowing vehicles in front without attempting to brake.
Mr Walsh concluded that Mr Mazur died as the result of a collision.