Oswestry driver, 19, killed in head-on crash while overtaking

A 19-year-old driver from Oswestry was killed after crashing head-on into another car while overtaking, a coroner has concluded.

Aidan George Pritchard, of Ascot Road, died at the scene of the crash on Trefonen Road, between Oswestry and Trefonen, shortly before 9pm on January 19.

At an inquest held at Shirehall in Shrewsbury on Monday, Shropshire Coroner John Ellery said a toxicology report had found “moderate levels of cocaine and low levels of alcohol” in Mr Pritchard’s system, and added that it “may have influenced his driving ability”.

Mr Ellery said that the crash had involved three vehicles - a grey BMW being driven by Mr Pritchard, a red Peugeot being driven by John Clarke, and a white BMW driven by Lucy Davies.

Coroner’s officer Michael Caeser-Homden told Mr Ellery that Mr Pritchard had been following the red Peugeot in the direction of Oswestry on a section of the 60mph road that had double solid white lines, preventing overtaking.

The coroner heard that Mr Clarke had noticed Mr Pritchard’s BMW behind ‘not right up to my bumper but too close’ as they travelled over the bridge over the River Morda.

Mr Clarke said he had been travelling at around 45mph when Mr Pritchard decided to overtake.

Mr Caesar-Homden read evidence from Michael Lloyd, a front seat passenger in Mr Pritchard’s car, who estimated they were travelling at around 100mph at one point as they overtook.

The coroner heard evidence from Mrs Davies, who said she had seen Mr Pritchard’s car overtaking and coming towards her but “thought ‘no way, it will pull back in,’ but it just sped up.”

The coroner was told she had tried to pull towards the hedge to avoid the collision, but had been hit before she could do so.

Evidence from Mr Clarke said: “As he pulled out and started overtaking me I saw the white car coming over the brow of the hill. I thought ‘he’s not going to make it’ and he swerved in and hit the car.”

Mr Ellery heard that Mr Pritchard died at the scene despite the efforts of members of the public and paramedics to save him.

The coroner was told that other people were also seriously injured in the crash.

Delivering his conclusion he said: “It appears that Aidan for whatever reason attempted to overtake the car of John Clarke and collided with the oncoming car of Mrs Davies.”

Mr Ellery recorded a conclusion of death by road traffic accident.

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