A man’s body lay undiscovered under the wreckage of his car hanging in trees along a motorway for a week.
Sedji Sejdiu, 40, lost control of his rented Vauxhall Astra and careened off the M40 near Banbury, Oxfordshire, at about 4:20am on April 5 last year.
An inquest yesterday heard how the plasterer likely swerved his car to avoid colliding with a deer or after he fell asleep at the wheel.
It would take seven days for the father-of-one’s body to be found as he had ploughed into the undergrowth in the central reservation.
A police officer’s wife spotted the wreckage on April 12 which was ‘almost completely obscured’ by greenery and hung between trees.
Detective Chief Inspector Aiden Donohoe was travelling along the motorway at 5mph in gridlocked traffic caused by a separate accident.
There would have been ‘no chance’ that he and his wife saw the car if they had been driving at normal motorway speed, he said.
‘It was badly damaged and almost completely concealed by branches and foliage,’ Donohoe told Oxford Coroner’s Court.
‘At normal motorway speed, there is no way I would have seen this vehicle.’
A post-mortem found that Sedji suffered 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 and entered into the central reservation sideways impacting several trees.
‘He was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was ejected from it.
‘There is no evidence that this was an intentional act or any third-party involvement.
‘The most likely cause of the crash was a loss of control likely due to fatigue or drugs.’
O’Connell, of Hampshire Police, said the stretch of the motorway had an exceptionally wide central reservation.
‘It is possible he lost control due to an over-correction of a steering manoeuvre, or from steering to avoid an animal such as a deer,’ she said.
‘Marks on the verge show the car was already in a state of yaw, or out of control when it left the carriageway.’
Sedji’s car, rented from a car hire firm, was reported stolen after he failed to return it on April 4, the inquest heard.
Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham ruled the cause of death as a road traffic collision.
‘The taking of cocaine may have had an effect but that is not obvious from the evidence,’ he said.
‘If the discovery had been earlier,’ Graham added, ‘it may not have made any difference to the outcome.’
Sedji, from Kosovo in southeast Europe and lived in Maida Vale, west London, was a devoted father who did everything 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 very much.’
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