A POLICE crash specialist described the ‘upsetting and chaotic scene’ he was confronted with as he arrived to investigate a serious accident in the early hours of the morning.
Sergeant Brian Orr, from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, was giving evidence at the inquest at Bolton into the tragic death of Megan Hoskins.
Megan, a 20-year-old care worker from Worsley Hall, died from multiple injuries after being run over twice in Ormskirk Road, Newtown, shortly after 12.30am on Sunday, July 20.
The first vehicle was a black Hackney taxi cab and the second - another taxi - was a Skoda, driving behind. The driver slammed on his brakes, but unfortunately Megan became trapped under his vehicle.
Sgt Orr told the hearing: “I arrived at a very upsetting and chaotic scene as Megan was under one of the vehicles and the fire brigade were extracating her. The driver of the Hackney, Brian Sharples, was spoken to under caution.
“He said that he saw something in the road. He then braked and tried to swerve. Everything happened in milliseconds and he hit the brakes as soon as he could. He did everything to avoid Megan.”
Unfortunately, due to Megan’s dark clothing and lighting conditions, the taxis could not avoid the collision, which resulted in her death. Plus we don’t know why she was in the middle of the roadSergeant Brian Orr
Mr Sharples did not attend the hearing, much to the anger of Megan’s family who asked the police why he was only questioned three weeks after the collision, giving him “time to collaborate his story.”
Sgt Orr said his team had conducted a full inquiry into the collision and concluded that both drivers were not criminally responsible,
He said: “It was very tragic. There was a number of factors. Unfortunately, due to Megan’s dark clothing and lighting conditions, the taxis could not avoid the collision, which resulted in her death. Plus we don’t know why she was in the middle of the road.”
Joseph Parkinson, who was driving the Skoda, said he saw the black cab in front shudder and without warning, he saw a figure in the road.
He said: “There was no warning, so I hit my brakes hard. I didn’t have time to swerve.”
PC Christopher Whittaker of GMP’s reconstruction unit added that he was confident the Skoda was travelling at a speed of 25mph, which was lower than the speed limit and that Mr Parkinson had applied his emergency brake.
But as the black Hackney cab had no ABS, it was difficult to assess speed. But Mr Parkinson said he believed the vehicle in front of him was travelling within the 30mph limit.
Her boyfriend of more than a year, soldier Mark Hughes, said that the pair had been drinking and were walking home from Newtown Working Men’s Club. He added that she had also taken cocaine.
He said they had argued earlier but they had sorted it and were laughing and joking.
As they were on Ormskirk Road, he crossed over, expecting Megan to be by his side.
He turned around to see her lying across the road but he didn’t know how she got there and didn’t hear her fall. He added that she was wearing flat shoes, rather than heels.
That night he was questioned by police on suspicion of assault, but was released without charge.
Just minutes before, witness Amy Howarth, who was leaning out of her bedroom window smoking a cigarette, said she had heard the couple arguing and noted that Mr Hughes appeared angry and was in front of her. She saw Megan running in front of him and stand in the road, shouting: “Watch now, the next car that comes.”
She said: “I thought she was deliberately standing in the way of cars.”
Ian Dunham, a firefighter, was driving a fire engine on his way to a house fire in Hindley.
He said he saw Megan walking in the road, a car-width from the kerb.
Noting that she appeared drunk, he switched off his sirens and drove on the other side of the road to avoid her.
He added he saw Mr Hughes about 10 feet in front of her.”
After fire crews released Megan she suffered a cardiac arrest. Despite several attempts to revive her, she died at Wigan Infirmary less than two hours later.
A post-mortem examination revealed she had died of multiple injuries and had traces of alcohol and cocaine in her blood. Megan’s stepfather, Michael Hoskins, said that following her mum’s death in September 2013, she became depressed and had attempted to take her own life.
But at the time of the tragedy, she was happy and looking forward to spending the weekend with Mr Hughes, who is in the army. He added: “She was a happy and bubbly young lady.”
Assistant coroner Rachel Griffin recorded an open verdict and said it was impossible to establish how or why the 20-year-old was lying motionless in the road beforehand.
She said: “I cannot conclude if Megan had collapsed, tripped or lay there by choice.”