An investigation is under way into the death of a Higham man involved in a crash while travelling with friends in America.
Clive Prevett, 64, was enjoying a holiday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and had set out on the road with his three companions for a backpacking trek around the Grand Canyon in Arizona, immediately south of Utah.
They were on their way to the national park when their car collided head-on with another vehicle.
The driver and Mr Prevett were both seriously injured and taken to hospital by air, but the front-seat passenger died at the scene.
Mr Prevett’s fellow back seat passenger escaped relatively unscathed.
According to Mr Prevett’s cousin, 77-year-old Trevor Prevett, the two injured friends were being airlifted to the city of Flagstaff in Arizona until Mr Prevett suffered a massive stroke, which saw him being taken to Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Centre in Phoenix instead.
A pre-inquest hearing into Mr Prevett’s death, at Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone, heard that he was taken into intensive care and underwent two rounds of brain surgery, but suffered another stroke and later died on Thursday, August 25, nine days after the crash.
The medical cause of death was given as a head injury.
Mr Prevett he worked as a jeweller for Decorus Fine Jewellery in Oxted, Surrey, having previously worked in London’s famous Hatton Garden district, where he met the friends he would later go travelling with.
Mr Prevett was a keen backpacker and had been on numerous trips to the USA and Kenya.
Mr Prevett, who is thought to have lived in Reynolds Fields, Higham, until 2005, was described by cousin Trevor as “a very nice person”.
“His main interest was certainly dogs – he had three dalmatians and a terrier, and he did volunteer work and things like that,” he said.
“He used to come down for lunch a few times a year, usually at Easter, and we kept in touch. He was just a very nice person, basically.
"He was very caring, he cared about the environment and about his dogs."
A former neighbour also paid tribute to Mr Prevett, who was not married and had no children, describing him as “a lovely man and very interested in animals and conservation”.
Senior coroner Patricia Harding adjourned the full inquest into his death until Wednesday, December 14.