Crash death Wakefield teenager was due to study at university

A coroner recorded an open verdict at an inquest into the death of a Wakefield teenager whose car struck a railway bridge.

Friday, 20th March 2020, 9:12 am
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 9:14 am
The bridge on Haw Park Lane

Fraser Silverwood, 18, was driving a Vauxhall Corsa which hit the bridge at Haw Park Lane at Wintersett, ,Wakefield , on July 19 2019, Wakefield Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Silverwood, a student and amateur footballer, of Horbury Road, Wakefield, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement, Mr Silverwood's mother Adele Kelly said her son had seemed to be heading towards a career as a PE teacher or sports coach.

The inquest heard he had been awarded a place at Leeds Beckett Uníversity to study sports development and was due to start the course in September 2019

Witness Leslie Gray was front seat passenger in a car travelling to a family funeral in Wakefield on the morning of July 19.

Mr Gray said the car he was in was heading in the opposite direction to the Corsa, which he said was travelling "very, very fast" towards the bridge.

Mr Gray said the Corsa had two tyres on the path and two tyres on the road as it headed towards the bridge.

After the crash, Mr Gray and others in the car tried to help Mr Silverwood, but they could not open the driver's door of the badly damaged car.

Mr Gray said: "The speed was excessive, far too fast."

Another witness, Jayne Dudley, who was a rear seat passenger in the car Mr Gray was in, said: "He never swerved, he never braked he did seem to get faster and he just hit straight into the bridge."

PC Brady-Smith, a forensic collision investigator with West Yorkshire Police, said it was more likely than not that Mr Silverwood was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.

PC Smith estimated the speed of the Corsa at around 50mph after assessing damage to the car.

PC Smith said his conclusion was that Mr Silverwood was either unable to control the car or that it had been driven at the bridge.

He added: "It is not possible to tell.".

Recording an open verdict, Mr McLoughlin said: "An open conclusion means we cannot really explain what happened."

Mr McLoughlin added: "All it says is the evidence is not sufficient to justify any other conclusion."

Mr Silverwood had played football for Ossett Town, Ossett Albion and Horbury Town.

His friends organised a football match in his memory at Ossett United last October to raise money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

A team of his friends played a team of his father Andrew's friends.