New driver, 20, killed after 'feeling pressure to speed up from tailgating car’

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Sam Myatt

TRAGEDY: Samuel Myatt pictured with his mum Liz Stanley (Pic: BPM MEDIA)

Sam Myatt, 20, was killed when his car ploughed into a tree off the A518 in Staffordshire on January 13.

Tragically, it was just three months after he passed his driving test.

The amateur footballer, who once played for AFC Gnosall, was being followed closely by another car and may have “felt pressure” to speed up.

A witness said Sam’s Vauxhall Corsa accelerated before swerving left, right and then straight before hitting the tree.

Sam Myatt

NEW DRIVER: The coroner said Sam was inexperienced (Pic: STOKE ON TRENT LIVE)

“I feel it is likely Sam did feel pressured and increased speed as a result”

Senior coroner Andrew Haig

A “black box” inside Sam’s car indicated he had been speeding at nearly 90 miles per hour before the crash.

Speaking at the inquest, PC Andrew Hogan-Hughes said: “The CCTV shows the Corsa and vehicle behind were within 15 meters of each other.

“The recommend stopping distance when travelling 60mph is in excess of 50 meters.

“The black box in the Corsa, which was fitted as part of insurance policy, recorded speeds of between 52.9mph and 87.5mph.

“The latest recorded speed was 80.5mph, although I can’t comment on the reliability of the data from this box.

“The common causes of control loss are excessive speed, poor assessment by driver and driver input, for example sudden braking. In this case I believe it was a combination of all three causes to some degree.

A518 Staffordshire

HORROR SCENE: Police responding to the crash off the A518 in Staffordshire (Pic: BPM MEDIA)

“He had only held his licence for 13 weeks and owned this car six to eight weeks, although it was off road for two to three weeks of that.

“He was a novice driver that was not fully familiar with vehicle handling. There was some suggestion the cars were racing but we were unable to substantiate this.

“There was loss of directional control followed by over-steering and the vehicle left the carriageway on a grass verge and collided with a substantial tree.

“It is likely the inexperienced driver was travelling too fast, made a correction and oversteered.

“If Sam felt pressured by the other car, the advice given is to slow down or pull over.”

Andrew Haig, senior coroner for Staffordshire South, recorded that Sam died as a result of a road traffic collision.

He said: “There has been a full investigation from police into this collision.

“As part of this the CCTV has been recovered and that shows that the vehicles are close, probably 15 metres apart.

“Police have considered they were racing but there is no convincing evidence of that.

“I feel it is likely Sam did feel pressured and increased speed as a result.

He added: “I’m sorry as a result of feeling pressured he sped which ultimately led to his death.”

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