Death by misadventure after 'very tragic case indeed'

Wednesday 26th February 2020 4:25 pm
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Llyr Evans was sadly killed in the crash last April

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A Llanarth man died after crashing his pick-up truck at high speed while over the drink-drive limit after an evening out turned sour over “banter”, an inquest has heard.

Edwin Llyr Evans, known as Llyr, died after his Ford Ranger left the A486 opposite Ffostrasol Football Club and collided with a large tree at around 10pm on 10 April last year.

An inquest into the death of Mr Evans was held at Aberystwyth today.

The inquest heard that Mr Evans was enjoying an evening at the Llanina Arms pub with friends and his girlfriend Rhian Jones when “banter” got “taken completely the wrong way”.

Friends and pub-goers told the inquest that comments by Miss Jones to friends led Mr Evans to become “visibly upset and angry”, “turn quiet” and “storm out” of the pub.

Miss Jones, who had been in a relationship with Mr Evans, 31, for five months, told the inquest that the pair shared “banter all the time”.

“I didn’t think that with the banter we have he would take it so personally,” she said.

Mr Evans, despite being over the drink-drive limit, left the pub to drive home.

After 10 minutes he turned around to head back to the pub to pick up his mobile phones, the inquest heard.

Witnesses said that Mr Evans performed a U-turn in a lay-by and stopped traffic while “impatiently” attempting to get back on the road, beeping his horn at cars in the carriageway.

He returned to the pub, “still clearly in an agitated state”, the inquest heard, grabbed his phones and left again.

Sean Thomas, who was driving a truck and trailer along the A486, said he was overtaken by a Ford Ranger at “high speed”.

“He came out of nowhere,” he said. “He passed us and stayed in the wrong lane until the brow of the hill. He was out of control and seemed in some kind of rage.

“He was in danger of hurting himself or somebody else.”

Further down the road Mr Evans’ vehicle left the road and collided with a large tree. Mr Evans suffered fatal injuries, the inquest heard.

PC Matthew Fraser told the inquest that Mr Evans was driving at 75mph when his vehicle hit the tree after a “sweeping right hand bend” travelling south on the A486.

PC Fraser said conditions were “clear and dry” and that no defects had been found on the vehicle.

A phone call from Mr Evans’ mobile, lasting seven seconds, was made at 9.58pm, moments before the crash, and PC Fraser said investigators “could not discount that he was distracted” by that call.

He said that possible driver distraction, speed and alcohol impairment were the “catalysts” for the crash.

Recording a verdict of death by misadventure, Ceredigion coroner Peter Brunton said it was a “very tragic case indeed”, which hinged on an “unfortunate remark”.

“These words brought out in him in an almost incandescent rage,” he said.

“It is quite clear that the red mist had descended.

“The manner of his driving was not due only to alcohol, but it had a significant effect.”

A post-mortem revealed that Mr Evans had a blood alcohol level of 104mg. The legal limit is 80mg.

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