May 22 2013 Latest news:
Ian Weinfass, Senior reporter
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
A teenage father-to-be died after failing to give way at a junction and crashing into a car, an inquest recorded.
As deputy coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe read out her verdict on Monday, Robert Stewart’s father Sean, stopped her to draw her attention to evidence he did not believe had been dealt with properly.
The 18-year-old student died after his moped collided with a Chrysler Voyager at around 6.30pm on January 22, 2012 on the junction of Burland Road and Highfield Road in Collier Row.
Mr Stewart, from Romford, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the car, Michael Gosling, of Hillrise Road, was three times over the legal alcohol limit, and pleaded guilty to drink driving at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on July 31, 2012.
After the inquest, Robert Stewart’s family said:
No matter what happened, he [Gosling] should never have been driving if he was over the limit. We’re not happy, not happy at all. It doesn’t seem like justice.
Robert was so careful, he only got the bike for Christmas. We miss him so much. He has a baby who’s seven months old and he’ll never know his dad. He had his future all planned out. His two brothers and sister absolutely idolised him. He was such a good kid. The pain is never going to go away and we’re never going to come to terms with it.
Mr Gosling told the inquest at Walthamstow Coroners Court: “I was driving my and approached the junction with Burland Road.
“The next thing I knew was that something hit the side of my car, I thought at first something had fallen on top of it.
“I looked up the road and saw the young man’s body in the road. I went towards him, couldn’t find a pulse so I started CPR, then the emergency services turned up.”
Pc Alex Hewitt from the road death investigation unit said that tests showed that: “Obviously alcohol would have affected his [Gosling’s] reaction time, but a sober driver driving there would still have had a collision.”
He added that Mr Gosling had right of way, and remained on his side of the road.
Investigators concluded from CCTV footage further down the road that the Voyager had its lights on at the time.
Sean Stewart questioned the coroner as to how the conclusion could be drawn that the rider did not stop at the give way line when the original police report into the incident said that there was no evidence that he failed to stop.
He also questioned the belief that the car had its lights on.
But Dr Radcliffe said: “From the evidence that we have heard it would appear that while riding he has failed to stop and failed to give himself the proper time to assess the road, that’s the most likely on the balance of probabilities.”
She added: “This is a distressing inquest because it is dealing with the death of a man just starting his adult life, with everything to look forward to and everything to live for.”
Verdict: traumatic road death.