Confusion halts deaths hearing

Flowers and messages at the scene of the fatal accident
Flowers and messages at the scene of the fatal accident
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AN inquest into the deaths of two teenagers killed in a motorcycle crash descended into chaos after a mix up by lawyers and new evidence coming to light.

At a hearing at Bolton Town Hall yesterday into the deaths of 19-year-old Leah Davies and 18-year-old Ryan Smith who died following the collisions near Martland Mill earlier this year, the coroner was forced to adjourn the hearing.

After nearly an hour’s delay, which left both families and friends waiting, the Deputy Coroner, Alan Walsh, adjourned the inquest until February saying he had “no choice” but to do so.

Mr Walsh said that new evidence about what happened on the evening of Sunday July 29 this year, was brought to light only minutes before the inquest was due to be begin.

Mr Walsh said that this meant new witnesses being called to give evidence and that it was unfair to call them immediately without prior warning.

This was further complicated by a mix-up involving the family of Leah Davies and another witness who appeared to be represented by the same barrister.

Mr Walsh said that because of conflicting interests it would not be possible for PM Law solicitors to represent both parties and he ordered an adjournment until February next year, to the visible disappointment of both families.

Ryan Smith, of Derby Road Golborne, died at Wigan Infirmary the day after the crash and Leah Davies of Thornbush Close, Lowton died the following week from her injuries at Salford Royal Hospital.

The collision happened at around 11.25pm on Sunday at the junction of Fourmarts Road and Hillridge Road.

A yellow Honda motorbike collided with a black Yamaha, which then collided with a third motorbike, a grey Yamaha, that was parked at the side of the road.

Mr Walsh said: “I am extremely disappointed, especially for both families who have built themselves up to re-live such heartache and will now have to wait until the new year. I am very sorry, but I have no option.”