'Wrong decision' cost teenage motorcyclist his life, Chesterfield coroner rules

The scene of the tragedy last year.
The scene of the tragedy last year.

A much-loved teenager made a ‘wrong decision’ which cost him his life, a coroner has ruled.

Chesterfield coroners’ court heard Wesley Mulkeen, 18, died after the motorbike he was riding crossed on to the wrong side of Staveley Road, Duckmanton, and collided head-on with a car.

Administration worker Mr Mulkeen, of Laurel Crescent, Hollingwood, was described as an active young man who enjoyed bikes and kick-boxing.

The inquest on Wednesday was told that Nathan Brooks was driving his Ford Focus along Staveley Road at around 7pm on November 1 last year.

“I came across a motorbike on the wrong side of the road that hit me head-on,” he said in a police statement.

Mr Brooks - along with his girlfriend and child who were passengers in the car - were not seriously injured in the collision.

The court heard Cheryl Spraggon and Kevin Hill stopped at the scene of the crash.

Retired acute medical nurse Ms Spraggon and ex-firefighter Mr Hill administered CPR on Mr Mulkeen before police and paramedics arrived and sadly pronounced him dead.

Coroner Kathryn Hayes thanked members of the public and emergency service personnel for assisting at the scene and trying to save Mr Mulkeen’s life that night.

PC Lee Simpson, a forensic collision investigator with Derbyshire Constabulary, told the inquest that neither Mr Brooks nor Mr Mulkeen were speeding and there were no mechanical defects with their vehicles.

According to toxicology results, a level of cannabis was found in Mr Mulkeen’s system - but pathologist Dr Danesh Taraporewalla said it was not possible to be exact about the amount due to a phenomenon called ‘post-mortem redistribution’, which refers to the changes that may occur in drug concentrations after death

Coroner Ms Hayes said: “Neither of Mr Mulkeen’s parents said he was a regular user of cannabis.

“I can’t say, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Mulkeen’s driving was impaired by the use of cannabis.”

She added: “Based on the evidence, he wasn’t racing, he wasn’t driving excessively fast.

“He just made a wrong decision - and it’s so unfortunate that happened.

“People do make decisions which can unfortunately have fatal consequences.

“I hope other drivers will think about the decisions they make.”

Ms Hayes concluded that Mr Mulkeen died as a result of a road traffic collision and offered her condolences to his loved ones as the inquest ended.