Dylan Crossey inquest: Teen re-lives the horrifying night his best mate was mown down by a car and killed near Preston

A brave teenager has faced a court for the second time in three years to re-live the sickening moment his best friend was mown down by a car just feet away from him.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 6:59 am
Dylan died around 12 hours after was hit by a car as he cycled home.
Dylan died around 12 hours after was hit by a car as he cycled home.

Charles Hodson was giving evidence as the long-awaited inquest into the death of 15-year-old Dylan Crossey finally got underway in Preston.

The hearing was told Dylan was "within touching distance" of Charles when a BMW ploughed into the back of his bike on a country lane late at night and then drove off leaving him gravely injured in the road.

"There was a massive, loud bang," said 19-year-old Charles, who was 14 at the time of the tragedy.

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Dylan with his mum Tracey Milligan.

"He (Dylan) was struck right at the side of me and was knocked probably 30-feet in front. I saw his body and I ran up and started waving to stop cars."

Dylan died the following day of "unsurvivable" head injuries. County Coroner Dr James Adeley reassured Charles: "There was nothing else you could have done to change things."

A lawyer for Dylan's mother told him: "Tracey wants to thank you for what you did on that night."

Charles' father Mark Hodson told the inquest his son had told him at the time: "It sounded like a jet plane taking off. Dylan's body was thrown up in the air and ended up further down the road."

Wham Lane in Whitestake near Penwortham where the collision happened late at night.

The inquest, being held in the council chamber at County Hall in Preston, is expected to take five days and hear evidence from up to 15 witnesses.

It has taken almost five years to get the matter before a jury at the Coroner's Court - an inquest was first opened and adjourned in November 2016.

Charles first gave evidence in March 2018 in a Crown Court hearing resulting from the collision in Wham Lane, at Whitestake near Penwortham.

Coroner Dr Adeley told the jury of seven men and four women that an inquest was not about apportioning blame. It was purely a fact-finding exercise, he said.

"There are no formal allegations before the court, no prosecution, no trial, no defence, no guilt. The purpose is to establish, as far as the evidence allows . . . how, and by what means a person came by their death."

Dylan and Charles had been out with friends in Longton on the night it happened and were cycling home at around 11pm. They were both wearing dark clothes and their bikes did not have lights. They rode down Royalty Lane and turned left unto Wham Lane.

Charles was in front on the pavement with Dylan behind. Dylan then went onto the road and rode up alongside Charles for a few seconds, intending to get back onto the path ahead of him. But at that moment the collision occurred.

Dylan was thrown up in the air and landed further along the road. But the car continued along the road, he said, at the same speed and drove off.

Charles's dad said he had always insisted his son should ride on the pavement where at all possible. "Unfortunately on that night Dylan crept into the road and he didn't make it home."

Earlier the inquest had heard that an ambulance arrived at the scene within three minutes and paramedics took him to the Royal Preston Hospital to be treated by the major trauma team.

It was decided later that night to move him to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital where he died the following lunchtime, around 12 hours after the collision.

Consultant pathologist, Dr Alison Armour, who carried out a post mortem said that Dylan had numerous injuries consistent with being struck by a car.

She said that it was likely his head had struck the car's windscreen and, even if he had been wearing a helmet, it was unlikely he would have survived.

Dr Peter Fortune, a consultant paediatric trauma specialist at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, said Dylan had arrived there at around 5am. But due to the extent of the head injuries he was forced to tell his mum and stepdad that he was "unlikely to survive."

Dylan's condition continued to deteriorate and he died around lunchtime without regaining consciousness.