A father of two died after his car collided head on with a tree when he lost control on a right hand band whilst three times over the drink drive limit.

Up to 20 friends and family attended the inquest in Truro today into the death of Ryan Heaver, aged 33, from Hayle, who died after accident near the Stable Hobba Industrial Estate near Newlyn in July last year.

The inquest heard that Ryan had been drinking in the Red Lion pub in Newlyn with brothers James and Sirus Niven on the evening of July 15, 2023 when he left the pub getting into his black Honda Civic and driving off.

The Niven brothers also left the pub getting into James’ BMW with James driving and Sirus in the passenger seat and followed behind Ryan’s Civic.

They drove towards the A30 along the B3315, but Ryan lost control of his Honda on a right hand bend and ploughed into a big tree on the near side of the road head-on.

His car rebounded off the tree and back into the road where there was a “high probability” said the coroner it was then struck by the BMW, something which caused it to abruptly change direction.

The brothers put Ryan in the rear of BMW and drove up the road, they said to take Ryan to A&E, however the BMW had been badly damaged at the front and only made it half a mile up the road before breaking down.

It was abandoned 45 metres down a lane off the B3317 which became a narrow footpath going into a park. The men decided to walk with Ryan through the park but as they walked Ryan collapsed and subsequently died about 100 metres in.

The Nivens’ said as their phones were dead so they couldn’t call the emergency services.

James Niven left the scene and Sirus ran down to the A30 and stopped a vehicle to use the occupant’s mobile to call an ambulance before returning to be with Ryan.

Paramedics arrived but Ryan was declared dead at the scene.

MPC Justin Hayne from the Serious Collision Investigations Team read James’ evidence to the inquest saying: “Ryan has gone around the corner and hit something which he believes is a tree and he has gone straight back across the road. He’s had to swerve and he’s hit something as well. He can’t recall what he hit.

“He’s seen Ryan’s car smoking and they opened the driver’s door and could see Ryan looking ‘dazed and confused’ they placed him in the rear of the BMW and drove him as far as Alverton Roundabout before the BMW stopped working.

“Their intention was to take Ryan to Penzance A&E but because the BMW was no longer working and their mobile phones weren’t charged they were going to walk to James Niven’s mother’s house to call an ambulance.”

He said Ryan initially walked on his own but became more dependent on being carried and eventually fell to the floor and died.

In a subsequent police interview, taken on a body cam at Camborne police station because the recording machine was broken, Sirus Niven was said to have said the BMW “T-boned” Ryan’s Honda.

However the inquest was told the bodycam footage failed to upload to the police system and the recording was lost so could not be used to confirm whether the vehicles actually collided or not.

An investigation found that Ryan was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and, even though the air bag had deployed, he suffered fatal injuries to his chest, heart and abdomen that were not survivable.

A post mortem found that Ryan was three times over the drink drive limit and had cannabis in his system.

Questioned by the family, MPC Hayne said although there was evidence that the BMW had hit the Honda, it could not be confirmed 100 per cent as wreckage at the scene, including the BMW number plate, had been cleared away by police who were not aware of Ryan’s fatal injuries.

He said the officers who had arrived had probably thought they were dealing with a drunk driver who had fled the scene and after a short search had moved the debris and the Honda to the side of the road to reopen it again.

Questioned by the family over why the officer’s had assumed this despite the damage to the Honda, MPC Hayne said he could not say what was in the officers’ minds at the time, but as nobody was found nearby, from past experience, they would have assumed the driver did not want to be found as they had been drinking.

The family also asked whether a collision with the BMW could have caused the fatal injuries, while MPC Hayne was not able to answer that question, the post mortem found that the injuries would have been caused by a head-on crash into a solid object, like a tree, although this could not be proved either way.

An examination of the Honda found that the offside rear tyre was completely deflated and had a nail stuck in it. There were no mechanical defects.

Recording a finding of death from significant chest and abdominal injuries caused by a road traffic accident Guy Davis, assistant coroner for Cornwall, said it was not possible to be certain which of the two proposed collisions caused the fatal injuries.

He said Ryan was “significantly under the influence of alcohol at the time of his death” and lost control after understeering on the bend.

“I find it likely that Ryan’s car was then struck by the BMW which was following behind,” he said.

He found Ryan lost control of his vehicle due to driver error under the influence of alcohol.

• At Truro Magistrates Court on January 18 this year James Niven, 31, of Garth Road, Newlyn, pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.

He was charged that on Saturday, July 15 2023 at Newlyn he drove a motor vehicle, namely a grey BMW 320D on the B3315 Newlyn, when the proportion of a controlled drug, namely Benzoylecgonine, in his blood namely 144µgs, exceeded the specified limit.

He was given a 12 month community order with the condition he does five days unpaid work of up to 120 hours. He was disqualified from driving for 36 months and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £114.