Jessica Iddon inquest: Couple were arguing say witnesses

TRAGIC CRASH: Darley Dale schoolgirl Jessica Iddon died in the collision on the B5057.
TRAGIC CRASH: Darley Dale schoolgirl Jessica Iddon died in the collision on the B5057.

THE boyfriend of a teenager killed in a car crash admitted they had been arguing but not immediately before his car was involved in a fatal collision.

An inquest in to the death of Jessica Iddon, 17, of Darley Dale, was held this week almost four years after the two-car smash at Stone Edge.

Christopher Sims said they had been arguing earlier and it had “escalated” and become “heated”.

He pulled over his black Corsa close to Darwin Forest Country Park to “chat”.

Mr Sims said he thought they had sorted things out and Jessica sat on his lap and gave him a kiss.

But a few minutes later, while driving down the B5057, close to the Red Lion pub, Jessica “grabbed the wheel and pulled it towards her all of a sudden.”

Mr Sims said he “instinctively” moved the wheel to the right as he thought they were going to collide with a wall.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter said: “Just out of the blue she decided to pull the steering wheel? It does not make sense.”

Mr Sims, who had nine points on his licence before the collision, said he could not explain why Jessica grabbed the wheel.

But witnesses to the aftermath of the collision stated Mr Sims said the couple were arguing just before the crash 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.

Dr Hunter said: “All the witnesses that spoke to you stated that you said you and Jessica were arguing and she pulled the wheel.”

He added: “You’re telling me that you were sitting there and that you were not arguing and everything was fine and all of these people who have never met you before, from all walks of life, are saying the same thing. Are they all lying?”

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

Dr Hunter asked Mr Sims why he did not mention the argument in his police interviews.

He said he could not remember and 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.

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.

The inquest continues.