York A64 BMW crash victim George Sawyer inquest concludes

An inquest held today (February 27) into the death of George Edward Sawyer, 19, who was from Farnley Tyas near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, heard he was killed as he strayed onto the A64 eastbound at Bilbrough in the early hours of March 27 last year.

Coroner Jon Heath told the hearing in Northallerton that George was walking along the A64 when he was struck by a black BMW M3 being driven by Paul Bailey-Haigh and suffered severe injuries with a cause of death recorded as blunt head injury.

George studied arable agriculture at nearby Askham Bryan College and was heading home after a night out drinking with friends at the time.

In his conclusion the coroner said: “George was from a loving supporting family. He was a student at Askham Bryan College and on the night of March 26 he went to a local pub and consumed alcohol to such an extent that he was the equivalent of two and a half times the drink drive limit.

“Walking back to his accommodation at the college, it’s not very far,  but at about 1.13am it would appear he strayed into the A64 carriageway and he was struck by a vehicle driven by Mr Bailey-Haigh and died instantly at the scene.

“The police have said that there was nothing Mr Bailey-Haigh could have done to avoid the collision because he didn’t have time to react given the speed he was travelling.”

The court heard from TC Paul Harris with North Yorkshire Police’s collision investigation unit. He said Mr Bailey-Haigh had been driving at about 73mph at the time of impact, and in evidence the driver said he was going at 70mph.

Mr Bailey-Haigh said he was driving back to his home in York from Leeds Bradford Airport at the time of the crash.

“I don’t remember seeing George. I don’t know what happened, it just happened really fast,” he said.

“All I remember  was my windscreen exploding, that’s pretty much it.

“At the time it happened I didn’t know if it was an animal or a person.”

After the impact he said he pulled over in a nearby layby and called the police who attended and closed the road. The court heard there was no alcohol or drugs in his system.

The court heard George was wearing a light coloured T-shirt and blue jeans at the time of the crash and that there are no street lights on that section of the road.

The coroner concluded that George died after a road traffic collision.