21-year-old died in head-on crash on A515

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A 21-year-old man died in a head-on collision on the A515 after overtaking a car on the brow of a hill, an inquest heard.

The accident happened on the evening of June 20 last year, when a Peugeot 206 driven by Gareth Todd was in collision with a Mazda 6 and a Peugeot 407 near Newhaven.

Mr Todd, of Tavern Road, Hadfield, died at the scene after suffering multiple injuries from the accident, assistant coroner for Derbyshire Nigel Anderson said before recording a conclusion that Mr Todd died as a result of a road traffic collision.

John Bradshaw, who was driving the Mazda 6 which was hit head-on by Mr Todd’s Peugeot, suffered serious injuries including a dislocated ankle, fractured spine and partial lung collapse, and was in hospital for two weeks after the accident, the Chesterfield inquest heard.

In a statement to police, which was read out at the inquest, he said he had been driving back home to Buxton after attending a business meeting in Colchester when he suddenly saw two sets of headlights coming towards him.

He added: “I could tell the lights were side by side and someone was overtaking on my side of the road. Before I had a chance to do anything there was a bang.”

The driver of the Peugeot 407, Anthony Healey, of Great Longstone, said in his statement that he had been out for a drive with his wife Janet on the night of the accident. As they travelled along the A515, they became aware of a car coming up very fast behind them before overtaking them and disappearing over the brow of a hill.

His statement continued: “As I got over the brow of the hill, I saw what can only be described as a fog bank and I couldn’t see anything in front of me.”

Mr Healey’s car then collided with the Mazda and Peugeot, but neither he nor his wife were injured.

Michael Greenhough was driving along the A515 at around 7.45pm on June 20 in his Audi A4 when he was overtaken by Mr Todd, who he estimated was travelling at around 70 miles per hour. Shortly afterwards, he came across the accident which he said was a “scene of total devastation”.

A number of people went to the Peugeot to try and help Mr Todd, who was slumped in his vehicle, but they were unable to find a pulse, the inquest heard.

PC Darren Parkin, who attended the scene of the accident, said: “Mr Todd was most likely travelling at a speed above the 50 mph limit. He completed the overtake of a Peugeot 407 driven by Mr Healey at a dangerous place on the approach to a blind bend in total contravention of the double white lines before a head-on collision with Mr Bradshaw’s Mazda. Mr Bradshaw had no opportunity to avoid the collision.”