MYSTERY surrounds the cause of a crash which led to the deaths of both drivers weeks later.
At a joint inquest into the deaths of Kenneth Horsman, 49, and Thomas Cross, 52, traffic officer PC Andy Edgar said he could not explain why Mr Horsman’s Land Rover Freelander had drifted across the road into the path of Mr Cross’s white Ford Transit.
The two vehicles collided head-on on the A690 near Brandon, County Durham, on November 18 last year.
Mr Horsman, from Chester-le-Street, who sustained multiple injuries, died in hospital in January.
When police tried to contact Mr Cross, they found he had also died, eight weeks after the accident despite suffering “relatively minor” injuries.
Pathologist Dr Clive Bloxham said Mr Cross, from Tow Law, County Durham, had died from a blood cot in his leg, which he described as “similar to deep vein thrombosis which passengers can get after long airplane journeys”.
He said the condition was “very unusual” in somebody of Mr Cross’s age, but added that the enforced immobility following the crash may have contributed to the condition.
Afterwards Mr Cross’s partner, Valerie Wilson, said: “Tommy was only 52 when he died at home.
“His life was cut short following a car accident where he sustained injuries and tragically died eight weeks later.
“Tommy worked as a painter and decorator and was travelling home from work at the time of the accident.
“He left a loving partner of 20 years, his mother Miriam, his sister Gail, two sons Thomas and Adam, four stepdaughters, Mandy, Sharon, Caroline and Annette, a brother-in-law Shane and niece Kerry who will dearly miss him.
“He was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew him.”
Mr Horsman leaves a wife Carol, son Graham, 23, and daughter Nicole, 17. He worked for a firm of accountants in Shildon, County Durham
Verdict: Accidental Deaths.