Teenager's death was accident, coroner rules

By Beth Sharp Thursday 14 August 2014 Updated: 15/08 11:38

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A CROSSING where a Bromsgrove teenager lost his life was an 'accident waiting to happen', an inquest heard.

Samuel Chambers, of Stoke Road, passed away on May 13 this year after he was hit by a car on the A38 near New Road about 10.20pm.

Yesturday (Thursday), Worcestershire Coroners' Court heard how the 17-year-old was on the southbound carriageway of the 70mph road with his skateboard - although it is not known if he had it in his hand or was riding at the time.

He began to cross the road as the traffic lights were on green and was about a metre onto the carriageway when he was struck by a Toyota Avensis on the front corner of the driver's side.

He was thrown 20 metres from the scene of the impact and it is believed he was wearing headphones at the time although investigators are still unsure if he was playing music or not.

The driver of the car, who was estimated to be travelling between 40mph and 50mph, said he heard a horrible thud and must have slammed his breaks on in instinct.

"I saw the brief glimpse of a figure," he said.

"It was all in black and I can't remember a lot about it, but all I can remember is there was a very brief glimpse of him looking down to the floor."

Martin Dunham, collision investigator for West Mercia Police, said the driver would have only had between 1.4 and 1.9 seconds to react.

A breathalyser test also revealed he had no alcohol in his system.

Witness David Adshead, said: "I would like to say having a speed limit at 70mph approaching a traffic light at a cross roads is an accident waiting to happen."

He added it was 'insane' to allow such a high speed limit so close to a crossing.

A post-mortem examination revealed the former South Bromsgrove High School pupil died as a result of multiple injuries.

Toxicology results also found low levels of ecstasy and cannabis in his system which would have resulted from recent use.

Coroner Geraint Williams said the trainee chef was a young man who died in the most tragic circumstances.

"This was an incident which occurred in a split second which meant they had no time to react."

He ruled the teenager died as a result of an accident.

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