Man took his own life in 80mph New Year’s Eve crash after struggling with wife’s death

A man took his own life driving into the back of a lorry on New Year’s Eve after struggling with his wife’s death, an inquest heard.

Gwynfor Hywel Jones, 64, died from injuries suffered in the 80mph layby collision on the A55, between junctions 4 and 5 in Anglesey, Wales.

His son David Barry Jones told the hearing in Caernarfon his HGV driver dad had become withdrawn after his wife died four years ago, North Wales Live reports.

Mr Jones senior, who lived in Anglesey, had said he felt guilty about subsequently meeting another woman and altering his house from his married days.

He was “in a dark place”, saying “I’m not coming back from here” having acted “strangely” at home by pacing up and down and measuring rooms.

On New Year’s Eve 2019, Mr Jones senior was with his family at home but suddenly took his car keys off a mantelpiece and rushed outside, the coroner’s court was told.

“He bolted out of the back door,” his son said. “All I could see was the back of the car. I was convinced he had seen a lorry (earlier that day).”

Mr Jones followed his father but on arriving at the crash site was too frightened to get close.

“I was petrified at what I was going to see,” he said. “His intention was to kill himself. He didn’t want to go into the New Year.”

The inquest also heard lorry driver Paul Jones had gone to bed inside his cab parked in the layby.

Mr Jones said he was “fast asleep” but was woken up at 11.55pm by a collision from behind.

In a statement he told the inquest: “I could see a car had struck my vehicle. I was in shock.”

Mr Jones was pronounced dead at the scene early on New Year’s Day.

Forensic collision investigators found data showing the Vauxhall Mokka had been travelling at 89mph five seconds before its airbag was activated by the impact and just outside the layby.

The driver had not been wearing a seatbelt, an investigator concluded.

The lorry cab – a yellow Man Truck – had been shunted two and a half metres forward by the impact.

Dr Mark Atkinson, a consultant pathologist, found in a post mortem Mr Jones died from multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision.

Katie Sutherland, North West Wales assistant coroner, concluded his death was due to suicide.

Afterwards Gwynfor Jones’ family said in a statement: “We miss him dearly. We have been overwhelmed by the support from family, friends and the community.

“We hope that other men talk about their mental health issues.”