AN ELDERLY couple died instantly when their car veered on to the wrong side of the road and hit two trucks, an inquest heard.

Patricia and Pepe Irisarri suffered massive injuries in the horror crash which took place on the A31 near Red Post.

The accident was so shocking that both lorry drivers have been unable to continue in their jobs, Dorset coroner Sheriff Payne heard.

Mr and Mrs Irisarri had been to visit friends in Ferndown and were on their way back to their Bridport home when tragedy struck on December 9 last year.

The Bournemouth inquest was told Mrs Irisarri, 72, was driving the couple’s yellow Seat Ibiza when it straddled double white lines at 5.15pm. It struck a 44-ton Volvo milk tanker, driven by Steven Robertson from Stourpaine, before spinning into the path of a 40-ton Scania articulated lorry, driven by Kevin Parfitt from Frome.

Mrs Irisarri suffered a severe head injury and her 74-year-old husband died of internal injuries as well as spinal and head injuries.

In a statement, Mr Parfitt said: “This incident has knocked all the confidence out of me.

“I can’t help but feel responsible for the deaths of the two occupants in the car.”

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Robertson added: “I could not avoid the collision. I have been having difficulty sleeping and I am shaken.”

Mr Payne said there was nothing the drivers could have done and added: “It is very sad that both of the drivers have felt the need to seek other employment. Both have been clearly affected by what happened.”

Recording a verdict that the couple died as the result of a road traffic collision, Mr Payne said it is unknown why the Seat crossed the white lines.

Tributes have been paid to the couple, who had been married for more than 50 years.

Father Richard Meyer, priest in charge of Bridport’s Catholic parish, said: “The parish is in great shock over the sudden death of Pepe and Patricia who were treasured parishioners.

“A wonderful husband and wife partnership, we so enjoyed celebrating at church their recent golden wedding anniversary. Our love and prayers surround all the family.”