Soldier died after crashing into lorry

Gunner Brendan Williams.
Gunner Brendan Williams.

A coroner expressed sympathy to the family of a soldier who died after his car crossed the road and smashed head first into another vehicle.

Toxicology tests showed 21-year-old Gunner Williams was slightly more than twice the drink-drive limit when his black Vauxhall Astra veered over the other side of the road and collided with a white DAF lorry.

The results indicated he had 162milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood with the legal limit set at 80mg.

Gunner Williams died from multiple injuries as a result of the 5.40am crash while the 43-year-old lorry driver escaped unharmed.

Essex Coroner’s Court heard that police estimated the soldier was driving at 62 miles per hour in a 60 miles per hour zone at the time of the accident.

The incident took place on the A120, near the B1024, between Marks Tey and Braintree, Essex, on Saturday, December 3, of last year.

Describing the crash as a “tragic, tragic accident”, senior Essex coroner Ms Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict of accidential death and expressed her sympathy to his family.

Gunner Williams, who was serving with 7th Parachute Regiment Horse Artillery and stationed in Colchester, was one of eight brothers and sisters.

He was survived by mum Karen, step-father Tony and siblings Craig, Lee, Natalie, Terry-Ann, Aaran, Lisa and John.

His death notice also described him as “much loved by girlfriend Katie and her children Summer-Louise and Sohphia-Grace”.

His regiment’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Birch, said shortly after his death: “Brendan was a young soldier who joined G Parachute Battery, 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery at the end of 2014 having completed his training in the Royal School of Artillery.

“He immediately took to life within the Regiment showing great enthusiasm and ethos, quickly completing Pegasus Company.

“He relished the role of serving within airborne forces and being in the UK’s high readiness contingency force.

“His strength of character and popularity among his peers will leave an enduring mark on all who served with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brendan’s family and friends.”

Gunner Williams’s funeral took place in Bodelwyddan, North Wales, with mourners encouraged to “wear something bright”.