‘Misjudgement’ led to death of teenager

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A ‘tragic misjudgement’ led to the death of a teenager.

Michael Thompson, 18, from Church Road, St Annes, was out with a friend at 10.55pm on May 1 when he tried to cross the pedestrian crossing on Clifton Drive North, at the junction of St Annes Square, and was hit by a car.

The teenager suffered severe head injuries and was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where he died the following day.

At an inquest, coroner Alan Wilson recorded a verdict of accidental death as a result of a ‘tragic misjudgement on Michael’s part’.

An investigation found the teen had rushed out into the road while the traffic lights at the crossing were green, signalling that it was safe for drivers to cross.

His friend Danny Virco said: “He wanted to get home because he told me he wanted to see his dad.”

Michael stepped out into the road and told Danny to follow him ‘quickly’. He then collided with the front right-hand side of a car driven by St Annes resident Antonio Angelone, who was heading home from Blackpool.

Reading from a statement issued to the police, Coroner Wilson said: “As soon as (Mr Angelone) saw the male he slammed the brakes as hard as he could in an effort to avoid a collision.

“He got out of the car straight away to check on the male.”

PC Robert Newcombe, who stood as a witness at the inquest, said that the positions of Micheal and the vehicle at the scene after the crash were consistent with an impact between the speed of 20 and 25mph. The speed limit on the road is 30mph.

Tests carried out on Mr Angelone showed that he was not suffering the effects of alcohol or drugs at the time, nor was he extremely tired.

PC Newcombe said: “The driver of the vehicle had little or no opportunity to avoid colliding with the pedestrian.”

Police sargeant James Power, senior investigating officer for the incident, said: “We have examined all the evidence and have reached the conclusion that no criminal prosecution is to follow.

“The conclusion we have come to is that we don’t believe there is any criminal responsibility.”

Coroner Wilson said: “Ultimately this was a tragic misjudgement on Michael’s part in terms of thinking he had enough time to make it across the road.”