TRAGIC: Inquest hears of 'split-second' that cost 'gentle' Derbyshire social worker his life

Ezra Hytch. Picture submitted.
Ezra Hytch. Picture submitted.
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The mother of a young social worker who died after a crash on a Derbyshire road has paid tribute to her 'gentle' son.

An inquest at Chesterfield coroners' court heard how Ezra Hytch, 22, of Burnett Lane, Matlock, fell into the path of a car on the A615 at Tansley while drunk in the early hours of Sunday, June 19.

Mr Hytch, who was walking home from a party at the time of the collision, was later pronounced dead at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre.

During today's inquest, Mr Hytch's mother Andrea said: "He was an intelligent, very bright young man who was gentle and unassuming."

Detective Constable Gary Wilson, of Derbyshire police's collision investigation unit, told the court that several witnesses described seeing Mr Hytch 'unsteady on his feet' before the crash.

The court was read a statement from Harriet Milner, who was driving the Ford Fiesta which was involved in the collision.

She said Mr Hytch 'fell towards' her car from the left-hand side and his head collided with the vehicle's windscreen.

"Everything happened too quickly - there was nothing I could have done," she said.

"I was in complete shock.

"I was very scared and hysterical and phoned 999."

DC Wilson said the collision happened in a 'split-second' and Ms Milner had 'little time to react'.

Mrs Hytch raised concerns about the lack of street lighting on the road and the 'uneven' pavement her son was walking along

She added: "It's tragic that a young man had far too much to drink, resulting in long-term and devastating consequences for himself, his family and friends and Harriet."

Coroner Peter Nieto concluded Mr Hytch died as a result of an accident.

Mr Hytch graduated from the University of Bath last year and started working as a social worker in adult mental health shortly before he died.

After his death, Derbyshire County Council's strategic director for adult care Joy Hollister paid tribute to him, saying: "We were extremely saddened to hear of Ezra’s death and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very sad and difficult time.

"Ezra had only been with the adult care department since March but he had already proved to be a real asset to his colleagues and the clients he was working with.

"It was clear he was going to make an extremely good social worker and he will be missed greatly by all who knew and worked with him."

Ezra’s manager Andy Green added: "Ezra was both a respected colleague and a friend and he will be deeply missed and never forgotten by everyone who worked with him.

"Although he started work with our team a relatively short time ago he had already had a very positive impact.

"It was obvious to us all that he had a very promising career ahead of him."