Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Teenager "distracted" by music before fatal collision
A TEENAGER who died of severe head injuries after being struck by a car may have been distracted by loud music playing over his earphones, an inquest was told today.
Daniel Millichamp crossed the road in front of a stationary car, but did not look to his right see if the next lane was clear before continuing on his way.
The nineteen-year-old was struck by a Mercedes Benz C Class Estate driven Bryan Hazell on the A692 Rotary Way, near the Delves Lane junction, in Consett, County Durham, at 11.30am on May 25 last year.
He was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, but died the following day of “devastating head injuries”.
Giving evidence at an inquest at Newcastle Civic Centre today, accident investigator PC Andrew Edgar said witnesses had been seen Mr Millichamp wearing white headphones immediately before the accident.
His iPod, when it was examined, was found to be turned up to its maximum volume.
Returning a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Karen Dilks said she would write to highways chiefs at Durham County Council calling for the installation of signs to alert drivers to the crossing.
In a statement taken under caution, Mr Hazell said as he approached the roundabout he was travelling between 15mph and 20mph and indicating to turn right when he heard a bang and the windscreen shattered.
He said: “For a split second I thought somebody had thrown something at the vehicle. I didn’t have a clue what it was. . . I thought it may have been something that had dropped off trucks on the inside lane. I stopped immediately.”
John Turner told police he had stopped his Toyota Yaris in the left hand lane behind two other cars waiting to cross the roundabout when he saw Mr Millichamp standing on the footpath to his left.
Mr Millichamp walked across the front of his car and continued without looking when he was knocked over by the Mercedes Benz travelling in the outside lane.
PC Edgar said a pedestrian protective system which deploys at speeds of between 15mph and 34mph had been activated - corroborating evidence that speed had not been a factor.
Family members of Mr Millichamp of Main Street, Crookhall, Consett, told the inquest Mr Hazell should have seen him. But the Crown Prosecution Service decided that no further action be taken.
It emerged after the tragedy that Mr Millichamp’s cousin Michael Ross had died in similar circumstances ten years earlier. Mr Ross was knocked over on May 25 and died on May 26, just like his cousin.
Paul and Julie Millichamp, centre and right, with Sue Herbison, mother of Michael Ross who died ten years earlier in similar circumstances
More Consett News