Vital evidence required for the investigation into Joanne and Gary Vincent’s death was destroyed by a fire.

The husband and wife both died from their injuries following the collision on Ashes Road, Cressing, back on August 14, 2017.

At a full inquest held on Tuesday, their deaths were ruled as accidental by Area Coroner Eleanor McGann.

During the inquest, PC Jason Howard revealed investigators were unable to carry out extensive tests on the Honda motorcycle and Ford Transit van involved in the crash because the secure premises they had been taken to was ravaged by fire.

Both vehicles had been examined at the scene but no further tests were carried out because of the damage caused by the flames.

He told the inquest: “A fire at the premises destroyed both vehicles, resulting in the loss of evidence which has hindered the reconstruction of this incident.

“Despite other extensive scene tests and analyses of incident dash cam footage, the motorcycle speed and the point at which both parties entered each other’s view cannot be accurately established.

“It follows that any useful driver perception or driver response times cannot be ascertained.

“Subsequently, the question of the motorcycle’s approach speed and whether it had been in view when the Ford Transit driver had commenced his manoeuvre cannot be answered from any remaining physical evidence.

“Sadly, Mr and Mrs Vincent died as a result of the injuries they sustained.”

Area coroner Eleanor McGann admitted the loss of evidence had resulted in her considering an open verdict into the couple’s deaths.

However, she praised the thorough investigation carried out by Essex Police and was content the fatal collision could be recorded as an accident.