Couple died after losing control of car

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A MARRIED couple died after their car lost control and flipped over, an inquest heard.

Barry and Shirley Janes, from Robins Close, in Stubbington, died earlier this year when they were travelling back from Pembrokeshire on the A34, near Winchester.

An inquest into their death revealed that 70-year-old Mr Janes was driving their red Ford Fusion on when it hit a tree on the verge near the inside lane and rolled before coming to a stop near the central reservation.

Despite a police probe into the crash, which happened on February 24, and hearing evidence from several witnesses, the cause is unknown.

It was suggested by assistant coroner Sarah Whitby, following evidence from the police, that Mr Janes might have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The inquest, held at Winchester Coroner’s Court, heard the couple had travelled to Wales on February 23 for Mrs Janes’ brother’s funeral the next day.

They decided to travel back the same day and had been on the road for about three-and-a-half when the crash happened.

Assistant deputy coroner Sarah Whitby said: ‘Given the distance he had driven it would be a surprise if he was not tired.

‘I can’t say he fell asleep definitely. He may have been distracted.

‘On balance, he started to drift off and woke when the car moved on to the rumble strips.’

A report by pathologist Dr Adnan Al-Badri revealed that neither Mr nor Mrs Janes, 69, had alcohol or drugs in their system at the time of the crash.

Dr Al-Badri also ruled out a medical episode causing Barry to lose control of the car.

Janes died of a spinal fracture and chest injuries at Southampton General Hospital and Mrs Janes died of multiple injuries at the scene.

Ms Whitby recorded verdicts of accidental death.