Wales

Spider dropped on driver before crash which killed boy, 11

Tristan Silver's mother Cloud Younger (centre, long hair) , surrounded by people
Image caption Tristan Silver's mother Cloud Younger (centre, long hair) was driving her children to school when the fatal crash happened

An 11-year-old died in a head-on crash after a spider dropped on to his mother's hand while she was driving, an inquest has heard.

Tristan Silver's mother Cloud Younger was driving him and his sister Branwen to school on 4 May 2018 when they crashed near Tregaron, Ceredigion.

The inquest in Aberystwyth heard their car drifted on to the wrong side of the A485 and hit a 4x4 towing a trailer.

A conclusion of misadventure was recorded by the coroner.

Tristan - who was sitting in the back seat - suffered serious head injuries when Mrs Younger's blue Subaru hit a black Mitsubishi towing a trailer full of sheep in the village of Olmarch.

It was being driven by farmer David Glyndwr Jones, who was on his way to Builth Wells livestock market.

The inquest heard when Mrs Younger was interviewed by police in June 2018, she answered "no comment" to every question.

'I feel devastated'

After the first interview, her solicitor read a pre-prepared statement in which she told police her Subaru had recently passed its MOT and all three people in the car were wearing seat belts.

Mrs Younger said the spider landing on her left hand caused eight-year-old Branwen - who was sitting in the front passenger seat - to become hysterical and start screaming.

She said she turned her attention to Branwen to calm her down while still driving.

When asked by police why she had not stopped, she replied: "No comment."

Mrs Younger did not give evidence at the inquest, but when asked by the coroner if she had anything to add, she said: "If I could remember more, I would have said more."

There was no evidence as to how fast the car was travelling on the 60 mph road, but Mr Jones said his vehicle was almost at a standstill at the point of impact.

He added: "At first it was straddling the white line, about a quarter of the vehicle on the wrong side. Then it came all the way over to my side and I could see it wasn't going to stop.

"All this happened in about six seconds - I just had enough time to warn my wife and brace myself. I feel devastated by what happened. I don't understand why she didn't see us and drive back to her side."

Ceredigion coroner Peter Brunton said it had been "an extremely sad and tragic inquest".

He added it all came down to the manner in which the Subaru was being driven during the "catastrophic seconds" when Mrs Younger turned to give attention to her daughter. 

He said it appeared the car travelled for a significant period of time on the wrong side of the road and Mrs Younger did nothing to slow down or to get the car on the correct side.

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