A CHIRK motorist has recalled the harrowing moments when the car she was driving was involved in a fatal late night accident, colliding with a pedestrian who was walking on a dual carriageway.

An inquest into the death of 45-year-old devoted father of three Gwilym Rhys Jones, of Gate Road, Froncysyllte, heard he died as a result of multiple injuries.

The crash happened on May 2 last year on the A483 near Rhostyllen at about 11pm.

Elaine Sturman, of Vale Park, Chirk, was driving home in her Volvo following a meal at an Indian restaurant in Tattenhall, Cheshire.

Miss Sturman said: “A figure appeared almost out of nowhere. I slammed on the brakes and steered away as much as I could. I wasn’t able to avoid a collision.”

Deputy North East Wales coroner John Gittins said there was nothing Miss Sturman could have done to prevent the crash.

Police tests had been carried out on her car which revealed no defect. She had not been breaking the speed limit and had passed a breathalyser test.

PC Brian Grocott said Mr Jones put himself in a “position of direct conflict” with oncoming traffic, with minimum chance of a collision being avoided.

Mr Jones, who worked as a process operator at Flexsys in Cefn Mawr before it closed and then went on to be a taxi driver, had been drinking.

A post mortem examination revealed he had an alcohol level equivalent to being about 1.7 to two times over the drink drive limit.

Shortly before the accident Mr Jones had been seen staggering by witness Kirsty Jones, of Rhostyllen, who was a passenger in a car.

She recognised him after seeing his photograph on a newspaper’s website the next day which carried an appeal from the police for information into the crash.

Mr Jones and his wife Amanda had been involved a trial separation which started a few days before the accident. On the night of May 2 he drove to the Maelor Hospital where Mrs Jones worked and was just finishing her shift. She described him as being drunk.

The couple talked briefly and Mr Jones was going to get a taxi back home.
Summing up, Mr Gittins said that from the evidence he was able to rule out suicide as a cause of the tragedy.

Returning a verdict of accidental death, Mr Gittins described Mr Jones as a very well liked person, a devoted father, greatly missed by friends and family alike.

Mr Jones’ mother Mererid told Mr Gittins she was the last person to speak to her son, on his mobile phone as he was walking home, and that he seemed to be okay.

Mr Gittins said that scientific tests had been carried out to calculate Mr Jones’ alcohol level.

“I don’t wish to cast a slur on Mr Jones. There is no suggestion that he had a drink problem,” Mr Gittins reassured the family.