Jessica died from “misadventure” coroner rules

A TEENAGER killed in a car crash died from “misadventure” a coroner has ruled.

Thursday, 10th May 2012, 12:57 pm

Jessica Iddon, 17, who lived in Darley Dale, died after a two-car smash at Stone Edge.

An inquest, almost four years after the fatal collision, ruled that Jessica, who was a passenger in her ex boyfriend Christopher Sim’s Vauxhaull Corsa, grabbed the steering wheel.

In a bid to avoid colliding with a wall Mr Sims said he moved the wheel to the right – and in to the path of an oncoming car.

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During the verdict on Tuesday, May 8 coroner Dr Robert Hunter said he believed the couple were arguing.

He added: “I find it impossible to accept that Jessica would out of the blue have grabbed the steering wheel.

“I’m satisfied that something happened within that vehicle that caused it to lose control.

“Having considered all the evidence, on the balance of probability a heated argument was taking place within the vehicle that was continuing at the time of the collision.”

Dr Hunter said Jessica could have been attempting to stop the car and get out at the Red Lion pub, her former place of work, when the collision took place in June 2008.

During the two-day hearing Mr Sims, who had nine points on his licence before the collision, said he could not explain why Jessica grabbed the wheel. He denied the couple were arguing immediately before the crash.

But witnesses to the aftermath stated Mr Sims said the couple were arguing just before the smash and the argument was “bad”.

Witness Barry Brazier, a former fireman, said he heard Mr Sims saying “Jessica, Jessica I’m so sorry” as he tried to pull her badly injured body out of the car.

Mr Sims who suffered a fractured skull in the collision, said he could not remember what he said after the crash.

He denied having a “violent temper” or being “aggressive” after Dr Hunter asked him about his a criminal conviction for assaulting one of Jessica’s ex-boyfriends.

PC Dave Harris, Derbyshire Constabulary’s senior forensic collision investigator, said if the vehicle was pulled to the left it would be a normal reaction by the driver to counter-act it and pull it to the right, which could have resulted in the collision.

Dr Hunter said that Jessica died of multiple organ and head injuries.

He added: “I’m of the opinion the most appropriate verdict is misadventure, a deliberate human act resulting in unintended consequences.”

After the collision Mr Sims was accused of causing death by dangerously driving in to the path of an oncoming vehicle but was cleared by a jury following a trial at Derby Crown Court.

Following the inquest Jessica’s mum Lindsey Adderson said: “I want to thank everyone for their support.

“The police have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support myself and my husband Adrian.”

She added: “I also want everyone to remember that Jessica gave others the chance to live through organ donations.”

Six sick people benefited from Jessica’s organs.

Among those to receive Jessica’s organs were a 13-year-old girl, a two-year-old baby and a father who had waited for a donor for four years.