Norfolk man, 23, died after crashing into tree, inquest hears

The B1332 Norwich Road at Hedenham, where Harold Mason died after a collision with a tree. Picture:

The B1332 Norwich Road at Hedenham, where Harold Mason died after a collision with a tree. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A 23-year-old Norfolk man died as result of multiple injuries after the Mercedes he was driving collided with a tree, an inquest has heard.

Harold Mason, from Chedgrave, was driving northbound along the B1332 Norwich Road on December 9 last year when the car left the road at Hedenham.

No other vehicles were involved and no one is thought to have witnessed the crash, although two motorists arrived at the scene moments later.

Emergency services - including a single fire crew from Carrow - were called, but the driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

At an inquest into Mr Mason’s death held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Thursday, April 25, area coroner Yvonne Blake read a statement given by his mother, Kay Mason Billig.

She said her son enjoyed a “normal, happy childhood” alongside his brother and sister in Norwich before moving to Chedgrave after his parents split up and attended Langley School.


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But when his brother, Arthur, died as a result of a tragic accident in July 2014, Mr Mason was left “particularly devastated” and was unable to complete the university course he had started in Southampton.

Mrs Mason Billig told the inquest that, on the night of the collision, Mr Mason had pushed her to the floor during an argument and subsequently attacked his stepfather - behaviour that was “very unlike him”.

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They called the police when they realised the 23-year-old had taken his stepfather’s silver Mercedes without permission.

A short time later - while police were still at their house - they heard Mr Mason had been involved in a crash.

The inquest heard that forensic collision investigators estimated Mr Mason was travelling significantly in excess of the 50mph and had crossed the southbound carriageway prior to the crash.

They added there were no clearly visible signs of braking on the road and the resulting impact with the tree had destroyed the front of the car, limiting an examination to the rear of the vehicle.

No alcohol or drugs were detected in the blood sample taken from Mr Mason.

Mrs Blake concluded that Mr Mason died as a result of multiple injuries sustained in a road traffic collision.

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