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RAF Honington serviceman, 27, died after A14 collision – inquest

Suffolk Coroner's Court
Suffolk Coroner's Court

An RAF serviceman who died when he was struck by a fast-moving car had warned of his death in a text message less than an hour earlier, an inquest has heard.

Alexander Beck, 27, stationed at RAF Honington, was on the westbound carriageway of the A14 near Beetons Way ,in Bury St Edmunds, when the incident happened in the early hours of July 14, 2017.

An inquest at Suffolk Coroner’s Court, in Ipswich, heard today that in a text sent earlier that morning, Mr Beck had told his new girlfriend: “I will be dead by the time you read this.”

A police investigation concluded Mr Beck was frustrated at a lack of response to other messages he had sent, Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley said.

The inquest heard that car driver Michael Arnold, who was travelling at 70mph around a sweeping bend on an unlit section of the dual carriageway, had no chance of avoiding Mr Beck.

In a statement, Mr Arnold said: “In a split second I was confronted with a person standing in my lane. The person was no more than five metres away.”

Suffolk Police forensic collision investigator Pc Andrew Fossey said Mr Beck would have seen the approaching lights of the car but had continued out into the road.

Tests had shown that Mr Beck, who had earlier been at Flex nightclub in Bury St Edmunds with friends, had alcohol in his blood at a level he would have been drunk.

Pc Fossey said: “It is likely that whatever Mr Beck’s intentions were, his decision making would have been affected by alcohol.”

Statements read to the inquest from colleagues who had been with Mr Beck in the hours before his death said they had not been aware of him acting in anything other than a normal way.

Dominic Creffield, Flex owner, said he had noticed that Mr Beck was being unusually quiet and spending time reading text messages, which he considered to be out of character for him.

Mr Parsley said a few months before his death Mr Beck had started a new relationship but was experiencing some difficulties.

The inquest heard that a post-mortem examination conducted by consultant pathologist Dr Karl Love at West Suffolk Hospital concluded Mr Beck died as a result of multiple head and chest injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.

Mr Beck’s parents had travelled from the family home near Sheffield for the inquest.

The coroner said there was no evidence to show that Mr Beck had intended his actions and recorded a conclusion that he died as a result of a road traffic collision.

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