A Cumbrian driving instructor has died in a car crash as he drove to court to give evidence in a sexual assault case.

62 year old Eric Coulson from Wigton was facing two charges of sexual assault which he denied.

The A596 between Wigton and Thursby was closed for over six hours as crash investigators worked at the scene.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene of a head on collision just before nine o clock this morning on the A596 just outside Wigton. Mr Coulson who was driving a white Suzuki Swift was pronounced dead at the scene. The other vehicle involved was a lorry being driven by a 45 year old man from Liverpool who was uninjured in the crash.

A police spokesperson told us:

"There were several officers there from the road unit and from Wigton police station, taking statements from witnesses. Enquiries are at an early stage so we were speaking to motorists at the scene. We have had lots of calls regarding the incident this morning, news travels fast in Wigton"

This evening police confirmed the body of Mr Coulson from Wigton had been formally identified. He had been giving driving lessons tin the town for many years and was a well known.

Yesterday Mr Coulson appeared at Carlisle Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting two young women that he was teaching to drive. He had pleaded not guilty to both charges and had been due to give evidence at half past ten this morning. The jury in the case has been discharged.