Wadebridge man's death near Royal Cornwall Showground was accident
A WELL-KNOWN Wadebridge businessman suffered "catastrophic'' injuries after he was struck by a sports car near the Royal Cornwall Showground.
Andrew Jolley, 44, died at the scene after earlier attending a Christmas party at the nearby Quarryman Inn.
Mr Jolley, the joint general manager and sales director of the North and Mid Cornwall Advertiser series, was seen staggering from the pub minutes before the collision on the A39 at 7.45pm on December 16, 2011, an inquest in Truro was told.
Witness Lee Eells told Cornwall's deputy coroner Andrew Cox he had turned off the A39 to towards his home at Edmonton when his partner thought she saw a person in a hedge. Mr Eeels turned his car around and then spotted a man staggering towards the A39. He said by his demeanour, the man seemed "very drunk".
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Mr Jolley was struck by a Porsche driven by company director Martin Borg, who was travelling from his home in Bodmin to Trevose Golf Club.
Mr Borg told the inquest he was travelling between 60-65pmh and overtook two vehicles before slowing down to negotiate the Tollgate roundabout, estimating his speed to be 20mph before driving on.
Mr Borg said: "Suddenly in front of me in my headlights appeared a face. The one thing I remember was a big crash and slamming my brakes on.
"I never saw him. I think he'd fallen over and then stood up right in front of me."
A breath test on Mr Borg showed a zero reading and police said there were no defects on his Porsche that could have contributed to the collision.
Taxi driver Christopher Pooley told the inquest he was driving along the Wadebridge bypass when Mr Borg's car flashed passed him on the 60mph stretch of the road. Mr Pooley said he was driving at around 60mph, but could not calculate how fast the Porsche was travelling.
Asked by Mr Cox how fast he thought Mr Borg was travelling through the 40 mph limit approaching the roundabout, Mr Pooley said: "I couldn't honestly say, but he was still motoring."
He said he did not see Mr Jolley prior to the impact and thought Mr Borg had swerved to avoid a rabbit.
Road traffic collision investigator MPC Marcus Rowe said tests he had carried out in reconstructing what could have happened estimated that Mr Borg would not have been driving less than 35mph at the point of impact.
A post-mortem examination showed that Mr Jolley had died shortly after the collision from severe head injuries. He had a blood-alcohol reading that would have been two and a half times over the drink-drive limit.
Deputy coroner Mr Cox said on the night he died, Mr Jolley was not wearing light-coloured clothing and alcohol would have impaired his judgement. He recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Mr Borg had originally been charged with causing Mr Jolley's death by dangerous driving, but the charge was later dropped.
He was represented at the inquest by two barristers.