Rainham solider killed after Land Rover slid on ice

A Rainham soldier was killed by a Land Rover when it skidded off the road in icy conditions, an inquest heard on Monday.

Rifleman Craig Johnson, 23, was marking out ground as a part of a military exercise in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, when the vehicle hit him from behind last February 18.

Sgt Cavan Murtagh was driving over the brow of a hill on an unclassified road when the incident happened.

“I was driving along the road which is very undulating, with lots of twists and turns,” he said. “As I was driving down the other side at about 25mph when I felt the vehicle start to slide.

“I could see that the vehicle was getting closer to someone and I was trying to think of a way of beeping at them to alert them.”

Sgt Murtagh said he suffered a black-out when the vehicle hit Craig on the right-hand side of the road.

The former Chafford School pupil, who was friends with TV star James Buckley - who plays Jay Cartwright in The Inbetweeners - was preparing for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. PC Garry Rees, collision investigator for Dyfed-Powys Police said the road was so frosty that the ice was glistening in the light.

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“There was no evidence at all of gritting taking place - usually you would be able to see the particles but there was nothing.” he said.

However, maintenance man Brian Davis said he had gritted the road like any other in the training area the night before the accident.

Coroner Peter Maddox, at Brechon Coroners Court, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: “The issue of whether the road was gritted or not is not one for me to decide.

“However the icy conditions of the road were certainly a contributory factor in the loss of control for the vehicle.”