A promising hockey star died after crashing his BMW just six weeks after his mother bought him the car because she thought it was SAFER than him cycling to work, an inquest heard.
Thomas Chevins, 23, was killed instantly when his brand new car left the A53 near Market Drayton, Shrops., in wet conditions and struck a tree at 1am on December 28 last year.
An inquest heard his mum Heather Chevin, 46, had only recently purchased the red BMW 3-series for her son because she was worried for his safety as he travelled to and from work on his bike.
Before owning the £30,000 car Thomas had been cycling 11 miles from his home in Market Drayton to Eccleshall, Staffs., where he worked as a barman at The Royal Oak.
Stoke-on-Trent Coroners Court heard the University of York graduate lost control as he travelled home from work a month after being given the vehicle.
On Monday coroner for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Ian Smith ruled that Thomas died as a result of a road traffic collision.
He said: “Mr Chevins died from multiple injuries including a ruptured liver.
“He was driving along the A53 in his motorcar towards Market Drayton.
“As he approached a left-hand bend he failed to negotiate the bend and the vehicle left the road colliding with a tree in the hedgerow.
“He sustained fatal injuries and was certified dead at the scene.
“The road was unlit, it was raining at the time, the road surface was wet, and the vehicle had one defective tyre and two others with limited tread.”
Crash investigator Nigel Power, from West Midlands Police, told the coroner Thomas was driving in rain and strong winds on a road that “does not have a large margin of error.”
He said it was likely he lost control of his car and then overcompensated with the steering wheel, forcing the vehicle to skid sideways up a hedge and into a tree.
Pc Power added: “One possibility is that Thomas was driving too fast because although the speed limit of the road was a national speed limit of 60mph, in those conditions that speed may not have been suitable.
“Another possibility is that he was an inexperienced driver.
“He had only owned the car for 42 days.
“It was a rear wheel drive car and he had been used to driving a front wheel drive car.”
Thomas, who was a keen hockey player for Market Drayton Town, was on a traineeship with Joule’s Brewery when he died.
The inquest heard he had a promising future in the sport and pub trade and was expected to move into a management role in Market Drayton.
Speaking after his death, Thomas’ family described him as an “intelligent and handsome young man.”
A statement from parents Mike, 46, and Heather and three younger brothers, Jordan 20, Alfie 15 and Harry 13, said: “He was an intelligent and handsome young man who lived life to the full.
“His passions included writing novels and playing hockey.
“He captained his university team to victory in 2011 and on his return to Market Drayton threw himself into the local hockey club, where he started up, and captained the third XI with a great youth policy.
“He had recently taken the first steps on the ladder to the career he loved.
“He will be sorely missed.”
Chrissie Nutall, managing director of Joule’s Brewery, also paid tribute adding: “Thomas was a real pleasure to work with, he had an ability to light up and room and had an infections quality of joy which made him really good company.
“To work with he was willing to take responsibility and step and take ownership.
“When we are looking for people to work with that is an unusual quality.
“We had high hopes for him.”
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