A  FIREFIGHTER would likely have survived a fatal car crash had he been wearing a seatbelt, an inquest has heard.

Watch manager Mark David Hillier, 47, of Pewsey, had been promoting a 'Safe Drive Stay Alive' road safety initiative at a school the morning of his death, on October 12 last year.

Mr Hillier died at the scene of a crash involving his Suzuki Grand Vitara and David Rawlinson's BMW X3 on Salisbury Road, A345, in Pewsey at around 6.45pm.

Minutes before the crash, Mr Hillier, who was an on-call firefighter, left his friend Liam Smart's house with his two dogs as his pager alerted him to an incident which called for him to attend Pewsey Fire Station.

A safety cage to house Mr Hillier's pets had been removed from his car so that he could fit in more building materials, Wiltshire and Swindon Coroners' Court heard on Thursday, July 4.

Mark David Hillier.Mark David Hillier. (Image: DWFRS)

While driving around a bend toward the fire station on the 60 miles-per-hour limit road, Mr Hillier's vehicle crossed the central road markings and into oncoming traffic.

David and Laura Rawlinson were driving to Upavon to visit Mr Rawlinson's mother when they became involved in the crash.

Mr Rawlinson, who had completed advanced driving training, recalled seeing a blue SUV approach which "appeared to be in an uncontrolled oversteered skid".

He said there was mud from farming activities on the road surface which Mr Hillier had been driving along.

Following the impact, Mr Hillier was ejected from his car and PC Philip Hackford found no striation marks on his seatbelt during a vehicle examination.

READ MORE: For more information on why local newspapers cover inquests, click here.

Wiltshire Police constable Lee Mayhew, lead investigator for serious road traffic collisions, said: "It's likely Mr Hillier would have survived the incident had he been wearing a seatbelt."

Mr Hillier's Suzuki was found to have a defective and underinflated rear offside tyre - a problem which would had been present before the crash and a regular driver of the car would have known about it.

PC Hackford said this defect would have caused the vehicle to lose stability when turning right. No mechanical defects were found with Mr Rawlinson's BMW.

No evidence was found to suggest Mr Hillier had been using his mobile phone while driving and he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Mark Hillier with his wife Holly and his daughter.Mark Hillier with his wife Holly and his daughter. (Image: Wiltshire Police)

Area coroner Ian Singleton recorded Mark David Hillier's cause of death as cerebral trauma from a road traffic collision.

Wife Holly Hillier said her husband "lived and breathed for the fire service" and that it was "a calling he embraced with his whole heart".

See more: ​Mark Hillier: Funeral cortege visits Salisbury Fire Station

She added: "Mark died responding to a fire call, one of probably only a handful he didn’t turn out for.

“His bravery, sense of duty and unwavering dedication to serve his community in Pewsey and the communities in Salisbury and Surrey, alongside his brothers and sisters, he held so dear.

"The love he had for his fire service family was unquestionable. We were so proud of him.”