Wiltshire death teenager 'lay in front of car', inquest told

Toby Hearne
Image caption Toby Hearne turned 17 years old the day before he was killed

A boy was killed the day after his 17th birthday when he lay down in front of a friend's car and was run over, an inquest has heard.

Toby Hearne died on 21 December last year following a house party at Stanton St Quintin, near Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Ian Singleton, assistant deputy coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said Toby's judgement had been impaired by the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at the inquest in Trowbridge.

No blame was placed on the driver.

Toby, who had attended the party dressed as a Christmas present, had only turned 17 the previous day.

A post mortem examination found he had died from compression of the chest.

'Deliberate act'

The inquest heard toxicology tests had revealed Toby had a blood alcohol level of nearly twice the drink drive limit.

Witnesses said he had committed various acts, such as falling over deliberately and riding on the bonnet of a car, without causing himself any apparent injury.

Coroner Mr Singleton said: "There is no evidence to suggest that the driver was aware of Toby's presence or deliberately drove over him.

"On the balance of probabilities I find that Toby's actions and assessment of risks that he was placing himself at were affected by the level of alcohol he had consumed impairing his critical judgment capability.

"The appropriate verdict would be of accidental death, which is not in any way to trivialise Toby's death, but reflects the fact it came about as an unintended consequence of a deliberate act on his part."

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