A man’s body lay undiscovered among the wreckage of his car hanging in trees along a highway a week long.
Sedji Sejdiu, 40, lost control of his hired Vauxhall Astra at around 4:20am on April 5 last year and came off the M40 near Banbury, Oxfordshire.
An investigation revealed yesterday that the plasterer likely swerved his car to avoid a collision with a deer or after falling asleep at the wheel.
It would be seven days before the father’s body was found, as he had plowed through the undergrowth of the central reservation.
A police officer’s wife spotted the wreckage April 12 “almost entirely obscured by greenery” hanging between trees.
Detective Chief Inspector Aiden Donohoe was stuck in a traffic jam at 5 mph on the freeway due to another accident.
There would have been “no chance” that he and his wife would have seen the car if they were driving at normal highway speeds, he said.
“It was badly damaged and almost completely obscured by branches and leaves,” Donohoe told the Oxford Coroner’s Court.
“There was no way I would have seen this vehicle at normal highway speeds.”
A post-mortem revealed that Sedji had sustained multiple injuries, while a toxicology report found cocaine and alcohol in his system.
Forensic collision investigator Siobhan O’Connell said: “He lost control of the vehicle, went sideways into the median and crashed into several trees.”
“He was the only occupant of the vehicle and was thrown out of it.”
“There is no evidence that it was an intentional act or involvement of third parties.”
“The most likely cause of the crash was loss of control, likely due to fatigue or drugs.”
Hampshire Police’s O’Connell said the stretch of motorway has an exceptionally wide median.
“It’s possible he lost control because he over-corrected a steering maneuver or because he steered to avoid an animal like a deer,” she said.
“Roadside markings show the car was already in a yaw state or out of control when it left the lane.”
Sedji’s car, which he rented from a rental company, was reported stolen after he failed to return it on April 4, the inquest revealed.
Assistant Medical Examiner Nicholas Graham ruled that the cause of death was a traffic accident.
“Cocaine use may have had an impact, but the evidence doesn’t show that,” he said.
“If the discovery had been earlier,” Graham added, “it might not have impacted the outcome.”
Originally from Kosovo in south-eastern Europe and based in Maida Vale, west London, Sedji was a devoted father who did whatever he could for his eight-year-old daughter.
“As a family, we are heartbroken at the loss of Sedji,” his family said in a statement, “and we will all miss him dearly.”
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