‘Warm and sociable’ Westfield dad died after van rolled in A28 collision

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A dad-of-two died after his van rolled over in a collision on the A28 between Brede and Westfield, an inquest heard.

Marc Barry, 39, from Westfield, died on July 19, 2018, shortly after his Mercedes Vito van was involved in a collision with a Nissan Qashqai.

His inquest, held in Hastings on Tuesday (June 4), heard he had been travelling north at about 7am on the day of his death.

Having just driven through Westfield, Mr Barry was overtaken by the Nissan driven by Michael Forrest, the inquest heard.

Mr Forrest told the court he had completed the overtake manoeuvre and pulled in front of Mr Barry’s van roughly ‘ten to 15 seconds’ before the collision.

He said: “As I pulled back into the north bound lane, I remember looking in the mirror and I could see I was moving away from the van.

“I continued down the road as I thought I had completed the manoeuvre. At that time, I looked at my speed and I could see I was over 60mph so I thought, ‘I’m going to have to slow down’. I took my foot off the accelerator and touched the brake. About one or two seconds later there was a collision into the back of the car.”

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Forensic collision investigator Richard Moller, who spent eight hours investigating the scene after the collision, said forensic evidence had not been able to establish the reason why the two vehicles collided.

He told the court that damage on both vehicles suggested the near side front corner of the Mercedes first made contact with the off-side rear corner of the Nissan.

The Mercedes then collided with the off-side door of the Nissan which forced it off the road, the court was told.

PC Mellor said the collision caused the Mercedes to overturn before coming to rest on its roof.

Mr Barry – who, according to PC Mellor, was not wearing a seatbelt – died at the scene.

A toxicology report found no trace of alcohol or drugs in his system.

Shortly after his death, Mr Barry’s father Stan spoke affectionately about his son.

He said: “Marc was a very warm and sociable man, he loved spending time with his family and his friends.

“He was a good, hard working man, who loved his family especially his two boys Zac and Louie who he was so proud of. He was very happy in his relationship with his girlfriend Leanne.

“We are all totally devastated that our Marc has been taken away from us in the prime of his life. He leaves behind a mother, father, girlfriend, three brothers, two sisters and two sons who all loved him dearly and it is something as a family we will never get over.

“I would like to thank everyone for the support and kind wishes we have received since Marc’s passing.”

Marc is the brother of former England international and current West Bromwich Albion footballer Gareth Barry.

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