January 21, 2021 10.43 am This story is over 40 months old

Amelia Wood’s death ‘an accident’ but ‘entirely preventable’, says coroner

Car driver swapped on Facebook had lots of defects

By Local Democracy Reporter

A coroner said that the death of 11-year-old Amelia Wood in Louth, where a loose Land Rover front wheel hit and killed her, was a tragic but preventable accident.

Amelia was struck by the loose wheel of a white Land Rover Discovery on her way to school in the morning of Tuesday, March 6, 2018 in Manby Middlegate.

She was airlifted to Queen’s Medical Centre, but died of a severe brain injury in hospital.

A two-day hearing at Boston Enterprise Centre looked into the cause of her death, which coroner Paul Smith described as “tragic, needless and entirely preventable.”

Amelia’s parents were present at the inquest, as mum Hayley described her daughter as a “bright, lively little girl” who had successfully battled leukaemia earlier in her life.

The driver of the Land Rover, 25-year-old Cameron Perkins, gave evidence that he was unaware of any fault with the vehicle, after an examiner deemed the car “not roadworthy”.

Amelia was walking to Cath the bus to Louth Academy when she was struck by the wheel.

The car, which Perkins had swapped a Ford Fiesta van for with another man on Facebook, was found to have a catalogue of defects, including a missing outer wheel bearing.

It was found that Perkins was not driving at excess speed at the time of the incident, and the detachment of the near side front wheel was simply an accident.

Despite this, the coroner summed up by saying the Land Rover had 20 defects, all of which would have resulted in the vehicle failing an MOT test.

Mr Perkins said that a week before the collision, he had taken the wheels to be rebalanced at a garage.

Later, witness and garage owner Thomas Statham told the inquest that Perkins had used his facilities the day before the collision, which prompted Perkins’ barrister to call for proceedings to stop for the day.

No evidence had been supplied that this was indeed the case.

When concluding the case, coroner Smith praised Amelia’s parents for their dignity to keep their daughter’s name alive, as a new youth centre in the village is set to be named after her.

Amelia’s mum Hayley Hodson said: “We are very disappointed it has taken three years to get here and that Amelia was an 11-year-old girl walking to school like most children do daily and no one has been prosecuted.

“Our lives have changed forever and he gets to carry on as normal.”