Thursday, April 18, 2024

Zach Smallcombe Inquest: Grays man died in road collision after performing wheelies on stolen motorbike at up to 70mph

Zach Smallcombe Tributes

A GRAYS man died in a collision with a car after performing a wheelie on a stolen motorbike at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, an inquest heard.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Zach Smallcombe, then aged 27, of Grays, was the subject of an inquest at Chelmsford Coroners Court on Monday morning (Jan 23rd).

At the beginning of the inquest, coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray told the court that she found the delay in the matters coming before an inquest “totally unacceptable”. The fatal road collision occurred on June 26th, 2015.

The inquest heard that on Friday June 26th, 2015, Zach Smallcombe was riding a stolen Triumph motorbike northwards on Derby Road in the direction of Sherfield Road in Grays.

At the same time, Patricia Coster, was driving a red Mercedes from Sherfield Road. She slowed down, indicated to turn right into New Road, but as he entered the lane, the motorbike collided with the car.

Mr Smallcombe died of his injuries at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel a week later on July 4th, 2015.

PC Alan Barlow of Essex Police Forensic Collision Unit presented his evidence.

He told the court that they were able to establish (with the help of CCTV) that Zach Smallcombe was performing a wheelie on the motorbike at a speed of between “62 and 71 mph”. The speed limit for the road is 30mph.

PC Barlow also explained that due to the excessive speed of the motorbike, Mrs Coster only had 1.3 seconds to clear the junction.

He added: “If he had been driving within the speed limit, Mrs Coster would have 2.3 seconds. She could have cleared the junction”.

He also detailed that any light from the motorbike may well have been “pointing up in the air” as he performed the wheelie.

Before returning a verdict, Ms Beasley-Murray expressed her sympathies to the family. It was explained that none were present as the inquest would “bring it all up again”.

The coroner returned a verdict that Zach Samllcombe died from massive internal injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.

In 2016, Mrs Coster was charged with causing the death of Zachary Smallcombe, by driving a vehicle, without due care and attention. However, when the case went to court, the prosecution presented no evidence and the case was dismissed.


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