Singer ‘Black’ died of head injuries

The singer-songwriter Colin Vearncombe, who had a huge hit in the 1980s with ‘Wonderful Life’, suffered fatal head injuries after his car skidded on an icy road, and crashed into another car, in Cork on January 10, an inquest confirmed yesterday.
Singer ‘Black’ died of head injuries

A jury at Cork City Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of accidental death, after hearing details of the accident, which occurred near Cork Airport.

Mr Vearncombe, 53, who lived at Caherlusky, Schull, in West Cork, and who recorded as ‘Black’, died 16 days later, on January 26, in Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Assistant state pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster, said the cause of death was traumatic brain injury, which was consistent with a road traffic accident.

Mr Vearncombe was driving his Lexus towards Cork Airport, on the R600 main Cork-to-Kinsale Road, at 9am on Sunday, January 10, when the accident happened.

Zbignieu Skorupa was driving his grandsons, Damien and Daniel, who had arrived at Cork Airport on a flight from Poland, home to Bandon, southbound on the R600, and was 3.7km from the airport, in an area known as Bowen’s Cross, when he entered a sweeping, long, left bend.

In his deposition, he said he saw a car coming towards him — spinning and rotating on the road. He said his car hit the rear of the Lexus, shunting it towards a ditch and into a field.

His grandson, Damian Wesolowski, who was in the front seat, said road conditions were wet and slippy, and he saw a car coming sideways at them. “It appeared to be spinning on the road. It all happened very quickly. It spun completely around and our car struck it on the rear,” he said.

Mr Skorupa and Damian were uninjured. Daniel suffered a cut to his head.

Two off-duty fire fighters, John Walsh and Anthony McCarthy , were driving in a car behind the Lexus, and Mr Walsh said road conditions were poor and they had several slips and skids on the road from Kinsale.

Mr Vearncombe was rushed by ambulance to CUH, but never regained consciousness.

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