Roseanne Allen crash car was speeding and had 'sub-optimal handling'
Published: 27th Jul 2012 21:32:32
A woman was speeding in a car with "sub-optimal" handling and "numerous defects" when she killed a teenager in Cornwall, an inquest has heard.
Zoe Couch crashed her Ford Ka into Roseanne Allen, 16, who was riding a moped in Par, near St Austell, in 2010. She admitted dangerous driving.
At the inquest in Truro, Miss Couch she did not know why she lost control, but a police officer said she was speeding.
Coroner Dr Emma Carlyon recorded an open verdict.
The collision occurred on Par Moor Road on 25 January 2010 as Miss Allen, from Fowey, was riding her 49cc moped. She died at the scene.
Miss Couch's car ended up in a ditch but she suffered only minor injuries.
The car hit the scooter so hard that the teenager was thrown down the road in the direction she came from.
Miss Couch , 21, was 18 at the time of the incident and admitted causing death by careless driving.
She was given 180 hours' community service and banned from driving for 18 months.
Giving evidence, she said she could not remember what speed she was travelling at on the 40mph road.
But MPC Marcus Rowe, of Devon and Cornwall Police, told the hearing the Ford was travelling "in excess of 60mph".
Miss Couch told the inquest she was not sure what caused her to veer into the path of the scooter.
She said: "I didn't see the scooter until I veered onto the right hand side of the road.
"I'm not sure what happened. I lost control. I ended up understeering."
Forensic vehicle examiner Geoffrey Chapman said there were no problems with the scooter, but that Miss Couch's Ford had "numerous defects".
He said: "It was not to a serviceable condition or reasonably well maintained."
Dr Carlyon said that, although brake defects did not contribute to the crash, the car's handling had been "sub-optimal".
During her trial, prosecutors said that Miss Couch had received four text messages shortly before the collision.
Recording her verdict, Dr Carlyon said it had not been clear whether Miss Couch had been using her mobile phone in the moments before the collision.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Roseanne Allen crash car was speeding and had 'sub-optimal handling'. [Online] (Updated 27 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1443186-Roseanne-Allen-crash-car-was-speeding-and-had-sub-optimal-handling [Accessed 17th May 2013]
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