Driver was travelling at around 86mph when he crashed, inquest is told

A YOUNG driver who died in a crash on the outskirts of Wakefield was travelling at around 86mph at the moment of impact, a forensic expert has said.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 8:46 am
Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith was thrown from his high-powered BMW on Black Road at Heath Common on the evening of April 30, 2018.

The 21-year-old lost control of the car on the bend close to the junction with Hell Lane and ploughed into a series of bollards and a boulder at the side of the road.

On day three of his inquest today, forensic collision investigator PC Simon Crawford told Wakefield Coroner's Court that he found the BMW was 'mechanically sound' prior to the crash, and even two bald rear tyres, although illegal, did not contribute to the crash.

The scene of the crash.

From the tyre marks left on the road, he estimated the car to be travelling at around 86mph prior to impact.

The road's speed limit is 40mph.

Asked by Wakefield Senior Coroner Kevin McLoughlin what he thought caused the accident, he said it was "excessive speed and incorrect handling".

He said the driver's side also bore the brunt of the impact but said if Jamie was wearing his seat belt, the outcome could have been different.

He said: "Had he been wearing his seat belt, he would have remained in the vehicle and his injuries would have been different. They would have been significant, but how significant I can't say.

He concluded: "The only person who has caused the crash is Jamie Smith, unfortunate as that is."

Also giving evidence was Detective Inspector Paul Conroy who was quizzed about the drugs reported to have been found in the vehicle amid claims by Jamie's dad, Paul Smith, that they had been planted.

DI Conroy said 28g of cocaine was found, worth over £2,000, and felt it was not possible for an officer to have planted the drugs given the number of police body cameras at the scene, and given the risks it would bring.

Four profiles of DNA were found on the drugs, but not enough to clarify where they came from.

The inquest was told there was also no evidence found on Jamie's phone or social media accounts that showed any evidence of drug dealing.

Toxicology found no trace of drugs or alcohol in his system.

DI Conroy also said a miscommunication, for which he blamed the insurance company, had led to Jamie's vehicle being taken away and destroyed.

This was after Paul Smith said he wanted the BMW retained for further, independent examination.

The jury inquest had previously heard how a marked police car had been 'following' Jamie's BMW on Normanton bypass after they saw it travelling at a "hell of a pace".

The police reached speeds of 118mph trying to catch up, but dash cam footage from the police car showed it was unable to get close.