Underlying causes of car crash which killed friends from Tadley and Bramley may never be known
The underlying causes of a car crash which killed two young men may never be known.
Although their vehicle was travelling at around 95mph, an inquest was unable to determine what led Kyle Jones, 31, from Tadley, and his friend Connor O’Shea, 26, from Bramley, to crash into the back of a lorry near Swallowfield on April 11 this year.
An inquest at Reading Town Hall on Wednesday, November 3, heard how Mr Jones had been driving southbound in an orange Renault Megane on the A33 from Reading towards Basingstoke, with Mr O’Shea – a married father-of-two – in the passenger seat.
Mr Jones, a garage mechanic, had been seen driving erratically prior to the accident, with dash cam footage showing the Renault speeding and undertaking another vehicle.
At around 5.25pm, Mr Jones was driving southbound in the outside lane of the A33 dual carriageway, approaching three vehicles in the inside lane.
A Scania LGV driven by professional lorry driver Bogan Rotar was at the front, followed by a Ford transit van driven by Ahmad Sahraei and then a BMW Z4 driven by Christopher Harben.
The inquest heard how Mr Jones had overtaken the Ford van and the BMW, before veering into the left hand lane and crashing directly into the back of the lorry at an estimated speed of 94 to 98mph, with the front of the Renault crushed under the lorry’s trailer.
There was no evidence of the Renault losing control, either on the vehicle or on the road, and no evidence of Mr Jones signalling or braking, the inquest heard.
However, in a written witness statement, Mr Harben said he had begun to overtake the van in front of him, checking his mirrors, with the Renault not being in sight, before indicating right. He then checked his mirrors again, and saw the Renault.
He said: “I’m not convinced I made a positive move but if I did it was minimal.”
The inquest heard how Mr Harben believed the Renault may have had wheels on the grass verge between the carriageways and then overcompensated his steering.
However, there was no evidence of this, and assistant Berkshire coroner Alison McCormick said it couldn’t be said, on the balance of probabilities, that anything in the manner of the driving of the other drivers contributed to the accident.
Neither of the men were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Summarising to the families, Mrs McCormick said: “It’s my belief and my fervent hope that both men died instantly and did not suffer.
“I’m so sorry that you lost Kyle and Connor in such a sudden, unexpected and truly terrible way.
“I hope they didn’t suffer and it’s my fervent belief that they wouldn’t have done.”
In April, Mr Jones’ family paid tribute to him, saying: “Kyle was a happy, caring, kind and considerate young man who was loved by many people.
“He would help or do anything for anyone especially his friends.
“He lived life to the full enjoying many social events with his extended family.
“As his parents, he made us so proud in what he had achieved. Kyle had a great future ahead of him.
“Kyle will be greatly missed by all his family and friends."
Mr O'Shea's family described him as “a loving husband, daddy, son, brother and friend to so many”.