Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 18:49 UK

Man refuses death crash questions

Left to right: Oliver Cross, Michael Tempest and Thomas Dunn
The teenagers who died were at school together

A recovery truck driver who was arrested over a crash which left three teenagers dead has refused to tell an inquest whether he caused the accident.

Friends Oliver Cross, Thomas Dunn and Michael Tempest died when the Ford Escort they were in crashed on the A58 near Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

The car's driver, who survived, had lost control and the Escort collided with a car coming the other way.

The Leeds coroner recorded verdicts of accidental death.

The driver of the Escort, James Trotman, 17, suffered serious injuries in the crash in December 2006 but survived.

Manoeuvre denied

The Leeds inquest heard how Adam Cannon, who had turned his recovery truck into a roadside lay-by just before the crash, was initially held on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but was not charged.

Police officers told the inquest they did not believe Mr Cannon, 22, could have made the sharp turn into the entrance of the lay-by in one movement.

Pc Ian Shaw said one possibility was that Mr Cannon was reversing his vehicle as part of the manoeuvre into the lay-by and Mr Trotman lost control trying to avoid him.

Pc Shaw was asked by coroner David Hinchliff: "Is it still your belief that he [Mr Cannon] was involved?"

"Yes Sir," the officer replied.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Cannon, from Harrogate, was told by the coroner he did not have to answer any questions which he thought may incriminate him.

Mr Cannon said he had driven into the lay-by in one movement by driving over a kerb and was about a third of the way down it when the two cars collided in the road.

Flowers at the scene of the crash
The crash happened 18 months ago near Wetherby

When he was asked by a member of one of the dead boys' families, "Did you cause the accident?", Mr Cannon said he did not wish to answer.

He told the court his refusals to answer were based on legal advice.

The court heard how the boys who died lived in Wetherby and were A-level students at St Aiden's School in Harrogate.

Mr Trotman had passed his driving test only three weeks before the crash, which happened between Collingham and Wetherby on 8 December 2006.

The four boys had been returning from a trip to a pizza restaurant in Collingham when the incident happened on a straight road.

Mr Trotman had not been drinking, the inquest heard.

Mr Hinchliff said something had happened which made Mr Trotman take "evasive action".

He said the actions of the recovery truck driven by Mr Cannon could have led to this, but there was no evidence of this, only speculation.

Mr Hinchliff added: "Having said that there is no other explanation."


SEE ALSO
Funeral of triple death crash boy
18 Dec 06 |  North Yorkshire
Man held over triple death crash
11 Dec 06 |  North Yorkshire
Three teenagers die in road crash
10 Dec 06 |  West Yorkshire

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