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Mystery over road smash that killed former editor

A former local newspaper editor and town mayor died when his car veered into oncoming traffic and crashed into another vehicle, an inquest heard.

Roger Green, 77, ex editor of the Wisbech Standard and a town councillor at the time of his death, was involved in the head-on collision on the A47 Wisbech bypass on 18 July last year.

He was treated at the scene and flown to a Cambridge Hospital but died later that day.

The Wisbech Standard reports that, at an inquest at King’s Lynn County Court on Monday, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong ruled that he died as a result of the collision but added that the reasons why his vehicle veered into oncoming traffic remained “a mystery”.

Anthony Marjoram, who was driving a lorry behind the councillor, told the inquest: “When we got to the [Elme Hall] roundabout, I noticed the unusually slow speed of the blue Nissan in front of me. There was no reason why he was travelling so slowly up to the roundabout.

“About a quarter of a mile after the roundabout, I started gaining on him and then he swerved into the middle of the road. He corrected it fairly quickly but I couldn’t see why he had done it. I assumed he had been distracted briefly.

“Further down the road, we started to catch up with a line of traffic and both started slowing down but then the Nissan just swerved out of our lane and into the on-coming traffic.

“It was far more dramatic than the previous swerve. There was no indication and I don’t think the manoeuvre was an attempt to overtake the traffic.”

Lee Worth was the driver of the black Audi A4 which collided with Roger Green’s  blue Nissan Almera and he also spoke at the inquest hearing.

He said: “I was travelling at a fairly steady speed and then all of a sudden a car from the on-coming traffic come out in front of me.

“There was no warning at all. All I can remember is shouting before hearing the loudest bang I have ever heard and our car spinning around.”

Norfolk Police accident investigator PC Wendy Biddle told the inquest the Nissan and Audi were both substantially damaged in the crash which limited her examination but she found no defects with either vehicle.

After joining the paper, Roger became sports editor for 11 years and then editor for 21 years, succeeding his father. He took early retirement in the 1980s when the Thomson group took over from the previous owners, the Sharman family.

During his time at the paper he covered the Wisbech floods of 1978 in which one person died and a quarter of the town went underwater, and the Harrier crash in 1979 in which two men and a boy were killed.