A MAN deliberately crashed his scooter head-on into a Tesco home delivery van after an argument with his partner when she told him it was an ideal day for her to get pregnant, an inquest heard.

Kristopher Pottinger, 33, of Sheerwold Close, Stratton, died in the head-on collision on the A417 near Fairford on August 15 this year, the Gloucester inquest was told.

Mr Pottinger and his partner Laura Cox had been together for six years and had been trying for a baby for six months before his tragic suicide, said assistant Gloucestershire coroner Roland Wooderson.

A statement from Ms Cox – who was not present at the inquest – said they had moved into their first house together last year and had decided to start a family.

“Mr Pottinger had been working that day,” said the coroner. “He had messaged her to say he was tired and wanted to get some sleep when he got home.

“They were due to see people later that evening for tea. When he got home after work he went to have a sleep. She says she was in a ‘bit of a mood’ that day but she didn’t really know why.

“They were trying for a baby. She had checked her cycles and she knew this would be a good day to try to get pregnant.

“She talked to him and said it would be late by the time they got home that night and they had work early in the morning. There was then an argument.”

The coroner said Mr Pottinger then went out on his scooter and his partner "felt sorry they had argued".

“She messaged him and she tried to call him," said the coroner. "She later had concerns as to where he was. A few hours later a police officer attended her address to say Mr Pottinger had died in a road traffic collision.

“When he left the house he had not said he intended to take his own life but he did say something like ‘I’ve got to do it now.’ She said to him ‘Don’t say things like that'. She had understood his comment to be a reference to when they had first met.

“She says that when she first got to know him he was still getting over the death of a friend, Steve, who had died while riding a motorcycle.

“He could sometimes be quite down and depressed at that time, she said, and when she first met him he had made threats of suicide but not in more recent times.

“She says he was very happy with the life they had made together and he was not having any suicidal thoughts.

“In 2019 they had moved into their first house together and had been trying for a baby for six months.”

The coroner said that after the fatal crash Mr Pottinger’s body was formally identifed from tattoos, his mobile phone and the picture on his driving licence.

A post mortem found that Mr Pottinger died from significant trauma to the head, upper and lower limbs. There were multiple fractures and dislocations. No drugs or alcohol were found in his blood.

Police collision investigator PC David Langridge said the fatal collision happened 236 metres east of the Shell service station at the junction for Whelford and Kempsford on the A417.

The head-on crash was between Mr Pottinger’s Vespa scooter, heading towards Lechlade, and a Mercedes Sprinter van in Tesco home delivery livery, which was being driven towards Fairford.

The scooter’s throttle cable was trapped in the fully open position, the officer stated. This indicated it was at full throttle immediately prior to the collision.

PC Langridge viewed dashcam footage from the van and it was clear it was ‘driving in a normal manner on the correct side of the road’ at 33mph, he said.

“It was also clear that the scooter rider had directed his vehicle across the carriageway and straightened it into the path of the van. The rider had not taken any avoiding action.”

The officer continued “It is my opinion, taking into consideration the physical evidence at the scene, the damage to the vehicles and the dashcam footage, that this collision occurred due to Mr Pottinger making a conscious decision to ride head-on into the Tesco van.”

The coroner said “I conclude that on the balance of probabilities the deceased took his own life.”

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