Teens died in tragic road accidents, inquests hear

John Walsh and Robert Quinn. ANL-160322-150552001

John Walsh and Robert Quinn. ANL-160322-150552001

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Inexperience was a key factor in the deaths of two teenagers in separate road accidents, inquests have heard.

Robert Quinn, from Walton Close, Stowmarket, was pronounced dead at the scene after his Suzuki motorbike collided with a VW Passat on the B1115 between Great Finborough and Hitcham at 7.52pm on July 10.

John Walsh, of Ash Road, Onehouse, died after his Vauxhall Corsa left the A14 in Rougham at 12.35pm on May 26. The 18-year-old died in hospital the next day from brain injuries.

Inquests in Bury St Edmunds on Monday heard Quinn, 19, was out riding with his friend Edward Peckham and was around 40 metres behind when he braked hard going around a corner. The front brakes locked sending him into the side of a Passat.

“Witnesses said they saw the bike tip and wobbling,” said Pc Roy Dade, from the police investigation team.

“He may have braked as he felt he was travelling too fast for the bend, but if he had stayed on his line he may have negotiated it.”

Pc Dade said Mr Quinn, who had only passed his motorcycle test in May, had sustained major trauma to his left hand side and forehead and his helmet had come off in the crash.

The speedometer on the bike, which was power restricted, detached on impact and was jammed at 55mph, but Pc Dade said this may not have been a true reflection of the speed travelled at.

Mr Quinn’s family said they could not explain why he had braked on a bend at speed as this was contrary to what he had been taught.

In a statement read out during the inquest they said they felt more safety measures, including signs warning of a hidden dip, were needed before the bend were the collision occurred.

Pc Jeff Crib said Mr Walsh had been travelling with his girlfriend, Christy Morris, when a tyre which was under inflated had failed ‘catastrophically’ and destabilised the car, causing it to roll into a field.

“Prior to joining the A14 they had stopped as they felt the car was not handling properly,” he said.

“Unfortunately they did not recognise the problem and the tyre overheated, which led to its failure.”

Miss Morris suffered only slight injuries in the crash.

After the inquest, his dad John said: “Both John and Kim Walsh would like to express their thanks to the kindness and consideration shown by Pc Joe Skippen and Jeff Cribb of the investigation unit.

“We dearly miss our beloved son more with each passing day.”