Teen’s road death a ‘tragic accident’

Hayden Middleton
Hayden Middleton

NO one was to blame for the tragic death of a teenage motorcyclist in Ilkeston who skidded in the ice and fell from his bike, a coroner said this week.

Hayden Middleton, 19, of Stanley, died seconds after he came off his bike in Hallam Fields Road, Ilkeston, on his way to work on December 5 last year, Derby Coroners Court heard.

His mother Mandy, of Glebe Crescent, Stanley, said after the half-day inquest on Monday that she was glad she now had some answers about her son’s death.

“We know Hayden wasn’t speeding, he was driving at the correct speed,” she said.

“In an ideal world we would have every road gritted and police on every street corner but resources are tight.

“But now we know that it wouldn’t have made a difference for Hayden.”

The court heard that the temperature on the road had been just above freezing at around 8am when the accident happened.

And, although the road had been gritted the previous evening, witnesses agreed conditions had been ‘treacherous’.

Baljinder Heer had been driving towards Hayden at the time he came off his bike.

“He was coming towards me in the opposite direction,” she said, holding back tears in the witness box.

“He came off his bike and it came on top of him and it was just spinning.

“It was all so sudden – I can’t think about it too much.”

Hayden and his bike skidded towards her car and she said that either one of them may have hit the front bumper but it had been only a glancing blow.

Ms Heer, a trained nurse, stopped immediately and screamed for help from passers-by.

She was told by the 999 call handler not to move him or remove his helmet.

She felt a faint pulse and said that Hayden had been trying to speak.

Another witness William Sexton, who had been turning right into Garden Avenue at the time of the accident, said he still suffered from nightmares.

“Everything seemed to happen so slowly that I thought a chap had come off his bike and just broken his leg,” he said.

“It wasn’t until later in the day that my son, who’s the same age as Hayden, found out on Facebook.”

Hayden was pronounced dead at Queen’s Medical Centre, but Pathologist Dr Andrew Hitchcock, who performed a post mortem on Hayden, said he had probably died seconds after coming off the bike.

He said his chest injuries were the ‘most severe he had seen in a decade’.

“The injuries were so severe, so catastrophic, that anything done afterwards was futile,” he said.

Mrs Middleton had previously told the Advertiser that she thought emergency services had taken too long to reach Hayden.

But Peter Bainbridge clinical manager at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said that despite the icy conditions and the level of rush hour traffic two ambulances had arrived in under the target response time of half an hour.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Dr Robert Hunter said: “The tragedy is that there is no one to blame for this. It’s a tragic accident.

“Hayden is not to blame and, short of having an ambulance on every street corner, a traffic officer on every street, there’s no way the ice could have been eradicated entirely.”