Teen ‘ran into road’ minutes before fatal collision

Tom Rasburn
Tom Rasburn

A teenager was fatally injured by a car just minutes after narrowly avoiding being struck by another vehicle, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Rasburn, 16, was walking home with friends along Nook Lane in Golborne when he was hit by a Range Rover minutes after he had run into the road, forcing the driver of a Renault Clio to stop, narrowly avoiding a crash.

It was raining really heavily. I saw a group of kids walking on the pavement and then he just appeared in front of my car

Leah Kendall

Minute later Tom suffered fatal brain injuries following the collision with the Range Rover, which happened at about 8.50pm on November 14, 2015, and died at the Walton Centre in Liverpool the next day.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that although the 16-year-old had been drinking at the time, he had not been staggering or out of control, but that he had been acting strangely in the minutes before the accident.

Leah Kendall told the court she had been driving along Tanners Lane, which leads into Nook Lane, when a young man had run out in front of her.

She said: “It was raining really heavily. I saw a group of kids walking on the pavement and then he just appeared in front of my car. I managed to stop but if I had braked a moment later I would have hit him.

“He waved his arms around as if it was a joke. I pulled over to tell him how stupid it was.”

Tom’s friends said they always walked home on that side of the road and Tom did not need to cross for any reason. They carried on but Tom fell behind. His friends heard the collision but none of them saw what happened.

Tom was hit by a Range Rover Evoque, the driver of which, Christopher Myler, told the court visibility was very bad and he had not seen either Tom or his friends prior to the accident. His passenger at the time Neil Taylor also said he had not seen anything until he heard the noise of the collision.

PC David Woods, a forensic collision investigator with Greater Manchester Police, said: “If Tom had run out into the road at a right angle he would have been in the road for between 1.06 and 1.33 seconds.

“The average reaction time to an unexpected event is 1.5 seconds. If he ran into the road the collision would have been unavoidable regardless of the speed the car had been going.”

He went on to say that one test they had conducted showed that the car was travelling at between 30 and 36 miles per hour at the time of the collision and that the speed limit on the road was 30mph. GMP took no action against Mr Myler.

Area coroner Alan Walsh concluded that Tom had died of traumatic brain injuries caused by a road traffic collision.

Despite Tom having a history of mental health problems, he said there was no evidence Tom had tried to take his own life but that the presence of alcohol, cannabis and ecstasy in his system may have affected his judgement.

He said: “Why he went into the road that second time is difficult to assess other than it was a similar situation to the first incident.

“I am satisfied there was nothing My Myler could do to avoid the collision and he immediately stopped.”

He did raise concerns about how 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust had handled Tom’s treatment however after it was revealed that no action had been taken to contact Tom or his parents after a number of appointments were missed.