Kettering teenager killed after being struck by car may have been running away from fight

Flowers left in Charles Street, Kettering, after fatal accident on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 NNL-150625-144808001
Flowers left in Charles Street, Kettering, after fatal accident on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 NNL-150625-144808001

A teenager who died after being hit by a car as he ran out of an alleyway in Kettering may have been involved in a fight just seconds earlier, an inquest has heard.

Aston Barrett, 18, died after the collision in Charles Street shortly before 2pm on June 23, 2015.

Mr Barrett, of Barnwell Street, had entered the alleyway connecting Charles Street and Pollard Street with a fellow teenage boy and appeared to be in good spirits.

An inquest in Kettering today (Thursday) heard that neighbours heard angry voices, shouting and swearing coming from the alleyway.

One witness said she heard what appeared to be fighting and tussling.

Mr Barrett then ran out of the alleyway and stumbled straight into the path of a blue Suzuki Ignis, which left the driver in ‘an impossible situation’.

He suffered a severe head injury and died later that evening at University Hospital Coventry.

A report from the forensic pathologist said that a post-mortem examination found a small amount of cocaine and cannabis in Mr Barrett’s system but it was unclear whether this had affected him.

Forensic collision investigator PC Brian Johnson said: “From the injuries Aston sustained I believe he must have been on or close to the ground at the point of impact.

“I believe he could not see the vehicle coming and tripped over a slope in the road surface.

“No firm cause or link between the activity in the alleyway and his death can be found but we do know that he was running fast and looking straight ahead.”

The incident left the driver of the vehicle, who was travelling at an appropriate speed, never wanting to drive again and unable to leave the house for several days.

Mr Barrett’s mother Michelle French described her son as “a likeable and loveable rogue”.

She said: “It is hard for myself and my family that we will never see him again.”

Recording a narrative verdict of death by road traffic collision, assistant coroner Hassan Shah said: “I am of the opinion that there are simply too many variables to suggest that cocaine or cannabis was a contributing factor to Aston’s death.

“The medical cause of death is head injury.

“We know that there was some sort of altercation and he ran from the alleyway into Charles Street, stumbled and was struck by a car.”