A husband and wife killed in a tragic crash died as a result of an accident, an inquest has ruled.

Gary and Joanne Vincent, both from Braintree, lost their lives after their Honda motorcycle collided with a Ford Transit in Ashes Road, Cressing, on August 14, 2017.

Mrs Vincent, 47, was riding as a passenger on the motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Vincent, 51, was meanwhile rushed to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. He was later moved to Broomfield Hospital but sadly died on October 5 – a little over seven weeks after the collision.

During a full inquest into the couple’s respective deaths on Tuesday, Essex Coroner’s Court was told no criminal prosecutions had taken place in connection with the tragedy.

The court heard from PC Jason Howard, of Essex Police's Forensic Collision Investigation Unit, who revealed no defects had been found with the road surface or the vehicles involved during an initial examination at the scene.

Dash cam footage from a Mercedes Sprinter van, which was not used as evidence during the hearing, showed the driver of the Ford Transit had used his indicator before driving the vehicle from the Cressing-bound carriageway onto the opposite side of the road.

Gazette: Joanne VincentJoanne Vincent

It was understood the driver had been attempting to stop the vehicle on the roadside outside Cressing Farm Cottages.

However, this put the vehicle in the direct path of Mr and Mrs Vincent's motorcycle, which was in the final stages of overtaking a Mini on the Braintree bound side of the road.

Mr Howard said: "It seems most likely that Mr Vincent reacted to the presence of the Ford Transit entering into his path and applied emergency braking which resulted in the loss of stability in the motorcycle.

"The Honda and Mr and Mrs Vincent fell to their offside and slid along the road surface before colliding with the Ford in the Braintree bound lane.

"Even if Mr Vincent had been able to maintain his motorcycle in an upright position, and continued braking, unless it had been travelling at an inordinately low speed, a collision was inevitable. There was insufficient distance and time in which to stop."

Mrs Vincent was also tragically struck by the Mercedes Sprinter Van travelling behind the Ford Transit.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had died of multiple injuries. Mr Vincent meanwhile died of bronco pneumonia due to sustaining multiple injuries from the collision, including a serious brain injury.

Toxicology results showed both Mr and Mrs Vincent had small traces of cannabis in their system but it was not thought to have been a factor in the collision.

At the end of the hearing, coroner Eleanor McGann concluded the couple had died as a result of an accident.

Addressing family members in the court, she said: "I don't know if a double death is a double tragedy. I don't know if it makes it worse to grieve two deaths rather than one. i think any death is utterly appalling, it changes your life it makes you feel nothing will ever be the same again.

"You have lost two very beloved family members. What I hope is that by coming here today and listening tot his very sad evidence, you are now able to put those sad circumstances of the death out of your minds and instead remember your loved ones as they were in life.

"It's good to see so many family members here all supporting and helping each other and I hope will be able go away now and perhaps share some memories of happy times you had together."

Gazette: Gary VincentGary Vincent

Key evidence from crash scene was destroyed in fire at secure location

Vital evidence required for the investigation into Joanne and Gary Vincent’s death was destroyed by a fire.

During the inquest into the couple’s death, PC Jason Howard revealed investigators were unable to carry out extensive tests on the Honda motorcycle and Ford Transit van involved in the crash because the secure premises they had been taken to was ravaged by fire.

Both vehicles had been examined at the scene but no further tests were carried out because of the damage caused by the flames.

He told the inquest: “A fire at the premises destroyed both vehicles, resulting in the loss of evidence which has hindered the reconstruction of this incident.

“Despite other extensive scene tests and analyses of incident dash cam footage, the motorcycle speed and the point at which both parties entered each other’s view cannot be accurately established.

“It follows that any useful driver perception or driver response times cannot be ascertained.

“Subsequently, the question of the motorcycle’s approach speed and whether it had been in view when the Ford Transit driver had commenced his manoeuvre cannot be answered from any remaining physical evidence.

“Sadly, Mr and Mrs Vincent died as a result of the injuries they sustained.”

Area coroner Eleanor McGann admitted the loss of evidence had resulted in her considering an open verdict into the couple’s deaths.

However, she praised the thorough investigation carried out by Essex Police and was content the fatal collision could be recorded as an accident.