Family say death was ‘just like having the sun go out’

A MUCH-LOVED young man died after his car spun out of control and smashed into a wall and another car.

Wednesday, 2nd May 2012, 4:05 pm

Nathan Horsfall was 29 when he died in the horrific accident on Burnley Road in Luddenden Foot in August last year.

His devastated family said his death was “like having the sun go out” and “like having a precious gift that we weren’t allowed to keep”.

An inquest yesterday heard that Nathan, from Luddenden, had been travelling at “excessive speed” towards Halifax in a gold Peugeot 106 before the accident.

Steve Green, principal collision investigator for West Yorkshire Police, said Nathan’s car went out of control and hit the kerb, then a wall.

Already spinning slightly, it was sent spinning more violently and into a Volkswagen Passat coming the other way and his car ended up on top of the wall.

Mr Green said he believed Nathan’s car had been travelling at high speed in what was a 50mph zone. “We’re talking motorway speeds,” he said. “We’re talking 70 to 80 mph before the loss of control took place.”

It had been raining on the night the accident happened and the roads were wet.

Karen Lister, who was driving towards Mytholmroyd, said the car “just seemed to disintegrate” as it hit the wall.

Kim Horton, who was overtaken by Nathan just outside Hebden Bridge, said: “I thought he was an accident waiting to happen because he was going so quickly and the weather was so bad.”

Thomas Jones, who was driving in front of Nathan, described seeing Nathan’s car “zig-zagging” before the crash.

The driver of the Volkswagen Passat, Derek Pickard, said the Peugeot came towards his car side-on on his side of the road.

“Everything happened so quickly,” he said. “If I had a smaller car, I don’t think I would be here to tell the tale.”

People who stopped and paramedics tried to help Nathan but he died at the scene of the crash from multiple injuries.

Tests showed Nathan had the equivalent of two and a half pints of beer or five single measures of spirits in his body when he died - over the legal driving limit.

Assistant Deputy Coroner Roger Whittaker said it was “the gross speed and loss of control” that had caused the crash.

He said the evidence had convinced him that Mr Pickard had no responsibility for the accident.

“This was a tragic accident,” he concluded.

Nathan, who went to Warley Town Primary School and Calder High School, was working as a floor layer and had been looking forward to a two-week holiday to Cyprus with his friends.

His loved-ones described him as a “loving, kind and wonderful” man whose family meant everything to him.

They said he was enjoying work, he had a girlfriend who he loved and his life was on the up.

His family have scattered his ashes in Cornwall.