Cause of crash which led to deaths of Adam Weller and Macauley Clements believed to be ‘harsh steering’

Adam Weller
Adam Weller
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A fatal car crash on the A14 which resulted in the tragic deaths of two teenagers is believed to have been caused by ‘harsh steering’, an inquest has heard.

Adam Weller, 19, was driving a BMW car with Macauley Clements, 16, in the front passenger seat on the A14 eastbound on January 24 when it collided with a tree.

Macauley Clements

Macauley Clements

Mr Weller, of Hereward Way, Weeting, died at the scene and Mr Clements, of Carpenter Close, Ixworth, passed away the following day at Addenbrookes’ Hospital.

At an inquest into their deaths in Bury St Edmunds, Pc Jeff Cribb, accident investigator, said the BMW ‘steered harshly into lane one and the car began to weave’.

He said: “Adam Weller then lost control of his car which began to rotate anti-clockwise. The car was travelling sideways when the off-side of the vehicle struck a substantial tree.”

Pc Cribb told assistant coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone: “It is my view the cause of this collision was some harsh steering from the driver when he moved his vehicle from the outside lane into lane one . This single action was just inappropriate for the conditions and the speed being travelled.”

The inquest heard that the BMW’s dynamic stability control, which helps the driver to regain control of the vehicle, wasn’t working.

Although Pc Cribb couldn’t provide a ‘definitive answer’ as to what speed the car was travelling at the time of the crash, he said: “It’s reasonable to suggest the speed was towards the upper limits of what might be expected on a dual carriageway.”

On the reasons why the vehicle weaved within the lane, he said Mr Weller may have been ‘trying to recover from having steered a little bit too harshly’ or ‘he was trying to show off and chose to steer his car in that way’.

Pc Cribb said: “I’m unable to say from the physical evidence which reason there was for the car weaving. It’s perfectly plausible he was fighting to control the car.”

There was no evidence of any alcohol or drug use or that Mr Weller could have been distracted by his mobile phone.

Mr Sharpstone recorded a verdict that the pair died as a result of a road traffic collision.

For more details see Friday’s Bury Free Press.