A MUCH loved chemist who went missing and was found in his car a week later died as a result of an accident, an inquest ruled.

Anatolia Nowak, 66, of West Ley, Burnham never returned home from work.

He was eventually found in his Jaguar X-Type car on Burnham Road near South Woodham Ferrers.

Emergency services attended but Mr Nowak was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Nowak had been suffering from heart problems.

It appears he fell ill at the wheel and died from head injuries after crashing his car.

At the inquest into his death, at Essex Coroner’s Court today, Essex Senior Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray heard Mr Nowak’s car was found concealed in a ditch 75 metres from the road on February 28, a week after he had left work.

PC David Howard, of Essex Police, told the inquest there had been so sign of braking when the car veered off the road.

He said: “A tyre mark was found on the grass verge on the east side of Burnham Road, which led in the direction of a gap in the thick shrubbery by the roadside, which is where the Jaguar was found.

“The front had been damaged, but there was no sign of any faults with the car or of any braking on its approach to the ditch.

"The shrubbery slowed the car down, but it had not been going fast enough for the airbag to be deployed when it hit the hedges.

“Mr Nowak had been wearing his seatbelt. It is my conclusion he became unconscious at the wheel, leading the car to drift across the road and into the ditch.”

His beloved wife, Gillian, said he had been feeling unwell since Christmas and was suffering intermittent pain in his legs and chest two weeks before his death.

Mrs Beasley-Murray said: “This was a sudden and unexpected death. We will never know exactly what happened when Anatoli was driving, but it does seem possible the might have become unwell and was unconscious before he reached the other side of the road. Clearly he was a much loved gentleman."

Mr Nowak had left work, at Stansted Laboratories in Barking, on February 21 but did not return home.

His car was later discovered having left the road.

Following his death managing director Bhartu Patel described him as "humble, respectful, gentle and above all an incredibly knowledgeable chemist."