Damian Lewis devastated by nephew’s death in crash just before losing wife Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory says she ‘lives life at 150 miles per hour’ in 2020

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Damian Lewis, 50, was heartbroken upon learning of the death of his young nephew Hugo Yaxley, 20, after he tragically died in a car accident. The nephew of the Homeland actor lost his life after he “inexplicably” drove on the wrong side of the road, an inquest heard.

Five months later, beloved Peaky Blinders actor and Damian’s wife Helen McCrory lost her battle with cancer.

Before her death, the 52-year-old had described Hugo as a “very rare young man” who had “wisdom far beyond his years”.

Damian had said his young nephew, who was a mental health campaigner, was truly “inspirational” and “touched more people in his short life than most do in their longer ones”.

Details of Hugo’s death were revealed for the first time at his inquest, as it was heard how he was behind the wheel of a red Honda Jazz which smashed head-on into a Range Rover.

The hearing was told he was driving his girlfriend and two of their friends on the A30, near Wiltshire village Sutton Mandeville, when he began driving on the wrong side of the road “for reasons that are unclear”.

His passengers told how they didn’t realise he was in the wrong lane, although other motorists tried to alert him.

He smashed into the oncoming car on a stretch of road subject to a 60mph limit.

The inquest at Salisbury Coroner’s Court heard Hugo died at Southampton General Hospital in Hampshire in the early hours of November 17 last year.

Hugo, described as a “safe driver”, shouted “s**t” moments before the horror smash.

The collision left the “love of his life” Minna Leatham with a broken back.

Hugo, from Bristol, previously attended Wiltshire’s renowned Marlborough College, where boarding fees cost £39,930 per year.

He had planned to study art and photography in Spain.

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At Hugo’s inquest, his brother Tom told how his brother overcame depression and became a fierce mental health campaigner.

He said: “[Hugo was] friendly, kindhearted and gregarious. He always made time for others no matter what.

“He had depression, but he was determined not to let it rule his life. He had a plan to go and study in Spain at the University of Madrid.

“He was one of life’s good eggs and his cheeky smile will be missed by all that knew him.”

Helen and Damian married on July 4, 2007, after they met on the set of Five Gold Rings at the Almeida Theatre.

The couple went on to have daughter, Manon, 11, and son, Gulliver, 14.

Helen tragically died of cancer on April 16, aged 52, with her spouse breaking the news on Twitter.

He said he was “heartbroken”, and that she was a “beautiful and mighty woman”.

Damian typed: “She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

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