Inquest hears tragic crash teen died after he may have made an “unexpected U turn”

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A teenager who died after his moped collided with a car may have performed an unexpected manouvre in the road, an inquest has heard.

Lewis Crouch 16, of the Black Bull pub, Mansfield Woodhouse, was killed after his scooter was in collision with a car on Peafield Lane outside Mansfield Woodhouse on February 3.

The inquest in Nottingham heard the teenager might have pulled out in front of a car seconds after another vehicle had passed a lay-by.

The driver of the Vauxhall car Philip William Reid of Mansfield Woodhouse told the inquest he had been following another car on the night of the tragedy which had pulled out to avoid Lewis who had been on the moped at a layby.

Mr Reid said: “I saw the moped light on, the car in front of me pulled out and I did the same.

“Then the moped did a u-turn straight in front of me.”

He said he had driven over a single white line in the middle of the road to overtake and had swerved and braked at the last minute to avoid Lewis but he could not avoid him.

It had been unclear whether Lewis had been stationary in the layby or riding alongside it when he made the manoeuvre.

Nottinghamshire Coroner Mairin Casey heard evidence from Lewis’s Mother Cheryl Broughton.

The inquest heard Lewis had suffered a broken thumb in January 2016 after a cycling accident which meant he had been fitted with a plaster pot at King’s Mill Hospital.

The day before the crash he had been fitted with a thermoplastic splint which meant his thumb was completely immobilised.

In statements both a surgeon and an occupational therapist had said Lewis was advised to not ride his moped or play computer games while wearing the splint.

But Mrs Broughton said she could only remember Lewis being told not to ride his moped while he had the pot, but not the splint.

She said: “An experienced driver should not have overtaken on a solid white line on a dark wet road.”

Police constable Stephen Farrell, who investigated the collision, said Philip Reid’s car might have been “masked” by the other vehicle, which was a few seconds in front of him.

Pc Farrel told the inquest damage to the moped and car and forensic evidence supported Mr Reid’s account.

He said wherever the car was positioned on the road , because of Lewis’s manoeuvre a collision was inevitable.

He said “In my opinion it was chiefly attributable to the inexperienced riding of Mr Crouch.”

The inquest was told Mr Reid suffered from sleep apnoea but this had not been a factor in the crash.

Recording a verdict that Lewis died as a result of a road traffic accident, the coroner said: “

“It is clear Lewis was a very lovable and much loved young man.

I well understand this is something that will be incredibly difficult for you to bear in the months and years to come.

My condolences to the family, one cannot begin to imagine the loss you have had.”