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Parents pay tribute to son killed in motorcycle accident

Inquest is told that Alpraham teenager Sam Carson died from crash injuries

Sam Carson died after falling from his motorbike on the A51 in Alpraham

A popular teenager was ‘on top of the world’ before he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident as he drove home from work, an inquest heard.

Eighteen-year-old Sam Carson, of Nantwich Road, Alpraham, had been travelling back from work on his Honda 125cc bike just half a mile from his home when he fell on the A51 near to the Travellers Rest pub on the afternoon of July 6 last year.

The Sir John Deane’s College student had to be airlifted to the trauma centre at North Staffordshire Hospital but died of his injuries the next day.

Floods of tributes were paid at the time to the ‘kind’ and ‘caring’ teenager, who had been studying maths, further maths and physics in the upper sixth form.

His father told the inquest at Warrington Coroner’s Court how proud he was of his son for the care and pride he took in riding his motorcycle, and had recently observed him on the road when Sam was not aware of it.

“I had left for work a short while after Sam and was able to see him riding along, but he didn’t know I was there,” he said.

“I was really proud of the way he was driving, he was patient and careful.

“Sam was an outgoing chap but was also sensible and we are proud and grateful to him for that.”

He added: “Getting him a motorbike was not an easy decision for us to make but it was a practical way of getting him to college from our house.”

The inquest heard that on July 6, Sam had been returning home from work at the restaurant where he worked as a kitchen porter.

It was a clear, sunny day without much traffic, and Sam, who had also spent time at the Northwich Carnival with his girlfriend and her family that weekend, was driving home ‘on top of the world’, his father said.

Drivers who witnessed Sam coming off his bike said he was travelling normally at a steady speed, wearing his helmet and at no point was he ‘doing anything silly’.

But suddenly his bike started to wobble and shake, and one witness saw Sam briefly look over his shoulder at the wheel.

It was evident he was making deliberate efforts to control the bike and drive on to the grass verge, and as he did so, tragically collided with a lamppost and speed awareness sign and sustained his injuries.

A specialist vehicle examiner who inspected the motorcycle later noted that its chain had 60mm of slack as opposed to the recommended amount of 20mm, but could not find evidence of any defect that could lead to a loss of control.

Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said the evidence showed Sam was riding his bike at sensible speed in a proper manner over a considerable distance.

“The manner in which the course was taking, suddenly and unexpectedly changed and there was something of a wobble,” he said.“What is clear is the bike started to snake, move from left to right and within a very short time, the front wheel mounted the kerb, continued along the grass verge and fell over, ejecting Sam from it.

“By horrible chance, he struck two obstructions – the lamppost and speed sign. In Sam’s case, if not for these he would have not even been bruised.

“It may have been that in a split second he decided to veer on to the grass verge, or perhaps the bike became more exaggerated.

“But unfortunately despite huge efforts by attending medical staff, his injuries were too profound and unsurvivable.

“It is difficult to give a precise cause for a loss of control – it may be that the chain being slack did set off this course of events, or if it slapped against the bike and temporarily distracted Sam - just that split second could have led to the crash.”

Expressing his condolences to the family, Dr Rheinberg added: “My full findings are that Samuel Alexander Carson died of 1a multiple injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.”

After the inquest, Sam’s parents paid tribute to an ‘extraordinary, eccentric and beautiful boy’.

They told The Chronicle: “He was just beautiful. Always full of life and happy. He had a wonderful, happy life.”

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