Driver died after ‘swerving to avoid deer’ on Northamptonshire road, inquest hears

Arkadiusz Balicki died after his car left the A43 near Brackley Hatch
Arkadiusz Balicki died after his car left the A43 near Brackley Hatch

A man who died after his car crashed into trees by the A43 in Northamptonshire may have swerved to avoid a deer in the road, an inquest heard.

Arkadiusz Balicki, aged 40, formerly of Briar Hill Road, Far Cotton, Northampton, was driving to work in Brackley at about 5am on April 23 last year when his Vauxhall Corsa left the road.

An inquest at Northampton General Hospital heard that Balicki suffered a fatal head injury after his car, which was travelling southbound on the A43 near Brackley Hatch when his vehicle swerved off the road, flipped on to its roof and crashed into a number of trees.

In a statement read to the inquest from Sarah Vella, who drove past the scene at 5.40am, she said she spotted a car upside down off the road and decided to report it to police.

Emergency services were called to the scene but Mr Balicki was unable to be revived.

Lee Tomlin, a lorry driver who had used the same stretch of A43 several hours before the crash, told the inquest that he had noticed a large group of deer by the side of the road.

John Underwood, forensic collision investigator, told the inquest he was called to the scene shortly before 7.30am and noted that two parts of a wire fence by the side of the road had been cut and pulled back to allow for pedestrian access.

Mr Underwood said there were no defects with Mr Balicki’s vehicle and estimated that he was travelling at 74mph shortly before the crash.

He said the marks on the road indicated a “sudden, severe movement across the road.”

Mr Underwood said it was possible that Mr Balicki may have swerved to avoid a deer in the road.

The inquest heard that, at the speed Mr Balicki was travelling during early morning light conditions, he would only have had just over one second to react to an animal in the road.

Mr Underwood said it was a “natural reaction” to swerve away from large animals in the road.

Mr Underwood said that the breaches in the fence, which is maintained by Northants County Council and the Forestry Commission, had now been repaired.

The inquest also heard from Mr Balicki’s wife Bernadetta who said the couple moved to Northampton from Poland nine years ago.

She said her husband worked as a HGV driver and was “very safe” on the roads. She said he was the “perfect dad” to their three sons and she felt lucky to have spent so many years married to someone who loved her so much.

Hassan Shah, assistant coroner for Northamptonshire, recorded road traffic collision as Mr Balicki’s cause of death.