Driver who swerved into path of HGV may have been suffering asthma attack

A 19-year-old who was killed when his car veered into the path of a HGV could have been reaching for an inhaler as he suffered an asthma attack, an inquest has been told.

Christopher Sharpe, 19, from Dalton near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, was on the way to work in Northallerton when his Vauxhall Corsa car strayed onto the wrong side of the road, crashing into the lorry.

The driver of the HGV, Russell Murfin, from Derbyshire, who was driving for Hargreaves Services of Durham said he had nowhere to go as the car came towards him.

Mr Murfin told the inquest in Northallerton: “He was bent over looking for something, it will stop with me till the day I die.

"All I saw was the back of his orange shirt, I thought he was looking for a mobile phone or whatever."

A post mortem found Mr Sharpe died from multiple injuries but there was evidence he could have been suffering from an asthma attack as the collision happened.

Traffic investigator TC Graham McCulloch said an inhaler was found in the footwell of the passenger side of the car.

A tachograph from the HGV revealed the truck was doing 48mph, eight over the speed limit, but coroner Michael Oakley was told this would not have affected the crash.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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