A264 crash caused by deer in the road

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A driver died in a crash after swerving to avoid a deer on the A264 near Faygate, an inquest heard.

Terab Ali, 52, of Bethune Road, Horsham, was on his way to Crawley to pick up his daughter when the crash happened.

His son Nazul Hoque, who was a passenger in the car, told the inquest that the accident happened around 9.40pm on August 17, between Faygate roundabout and the A2220 junction.

Mr Hoque described his father as a ‘very good’ driver, who obeyed speed limits and drove carefully.

He said the deer ran from the grass verge in the middle of the carriageway, into the path of the car.

Although his father tried braking, he said, this would not have been enough to avoid hitting the deer, so he swerved to the right.

As Mr Ali struggled to get the car back under control, it swerved several times before spinning onto the grass verge, rolling across the other carriageway and hitting a tree.

A statement from Victoria Burgess, read out at the inquest, said she had been driving from Crawley to Horsham, said she saw the car in the air, ‘rolling like a barrel’.

She said it came down ahead of her before rolling and bouncing off the road.

Police crash investigator PC Andy Shank told the inquest that Mr Ali had been driving a Toyota Avensis which seems to have been in good condition before the crash, and post mortem tests had showed no trace of drugs or alcohol in his system.

He said damage to the car bodywork, debris in the tyre treads and wheel rims, and marks on the grass verge were consistent with the witnesses’ accounts.

PC Shank added: “I do believe there could have been much more severe consequences for the front seat passenger if he had hit that deer.”

West Sussex assistant deputy coroner Christopher Wilkinson said another accident involving a car and a deer had happened on the A264 that same month.

“I firmly believe that in the circumstances that he was presented with, as suddenly as he was, he could have done little else to avoid a collision with the deer.

“The likely consequence of hitting that deer would have been as catastrophic, if not more catastrophic.”

He recorded a finding of accidental death.”