A man killed in a motorcycle accident days after buying it was three and a half times the drug limit when he hit an oncoming car.
Scott Adam Edwards, 30, died on May 31, 2021, after his motorcycle collided with the side of a VW Golf driven by Peter Wass on the A494, Rhydymain.
The inquest into his death, held in Caernarfon, heard that Mr Edwards, a telecommunications engineer and father-of-one, had only bought the bike three days before the accident and had not the license required to drive it.
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In a statement from his mother, Wendy Tinsley, she explained that when he told her the week before that he was going to buy the bike, she asked him not to because “he would kill himself”.
She went on to explain that Mr Edwards had a passion for motorbikes since he was five years old and had been riding motocross with his brother and sister.
In her statement, Ms Tinsley described her son as having a ‘heart of gold’ and as being an ‘exceptional son’ and ‘an exceptionally great father to his daughter whom he thought the world to be’.
The court heard how on the day of the collision, Mr Edwards, of Goodwick Drive, Wrexham, asked his cousin, Ryan Roden, for a ride with him and they left Wrexham around 1.30pm.
In a statement read by Ian Thompson of North Wales Police who attended the scene to investigate, Mr Roden said just before the collision he had stopped the ride near Bala to tell Mr Edwards to slow down.
He said: “I said if you want to go fast, go to a track and he said he would slow down.
“There was a lot of traffic on the roads that day.
“On our way to Bala, I started at the front but then he went up front.
“I noticed that when he went to overtake there was no safety check, no indication, no looking over his shoulder and he was generally going too fast for oncoming hazards.
“We pulled over and I told him I’d had enough and was going to go home if he didn’t slow down and he said he would but he started going too fast for the dangers again who were approaching, he was too fast for the turn and went head-on into an oncoming car.”
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Mr Thompson added that Mr Edwards ‘did not have a motorcycle licence’ and, although he could not determine the exact speed, assumed that Mr Edwards would have been going around ’60 to 70 mph at the time of the collision” based on his experience with similar collisions there.
He added the collision was ‘inevitable’ for Mr Wass who was traveling at around 40mph.
Concluding that Mr Edwards died from injuries he sustained in a road traffic accident, Acting Chief Coroner for North West Wales, Katie Sutherland said: “Mr Edwards suffered a number of external and internal fractures.
“Benzoylecgonine [a metabolite of cocaine] was found in his system which indicated that cocaine had been taken which would have been over the drug and driving limit.
“The provisional cause of death was given as multiple injuries from a road accident.
Reporting on an investigation can be one of the most difficult types of stories a journalist can write.
More often than not, these are emotionally charged proceedings witnessed by grieving people who are desperate for answers.
At times, inquests can feel quite clinical due to a coroner’s need to remain impartial and balanced in order to come to a conclusion from desperately sad events.
As painful as these procedures are for those who have lost a loved one, the lessons that can be learned from investigations can go a long way in saving the lives of others.
Families are often surprised – and sometimes angry – when they see a reporter present.
Naturally, they fear that the nature of their loved one’s death will be sensational and that a news report will forever tarnish their memory.
Responsible and ethical journalists will do all they can to report on investigations with sensitivity, without hesitation in the face of the often shocking facts.
It is essential that the public remember that inquests are a type of forensic investigation; they are after all being held in coroner’s court.
The press has the legal right to attend investigations and has a responsibility to report on them as part of its duty to uphold the principle of ‘open justice’.
But in doing so, journalists must follow the guidelines provided by the Independent Press Standards Organization and set out in the Code of Conduct for Editors.
It is a journalist’s duty to make sure the public understands why someone died and to ensure that their death is not kept secret.
An inquest report can also dispel any rumors or suspicions surrounding a person’s death.
Most importantly, an inquest report can draw attention to circumstances that may prevent further deaths from occurring.
Inquiries are not criminal tribunals – there is no prosecution or defense – they are tribunals of inquiry that seek to answer four key questions:
- Who is the deceased?
- Where did they die?
- When did they die?
- How did they die?
They don’t assign blame.
Once these questions are answered, a coroner can record a finding.
The wider lessons that can be learned from an investigation can have far-reaching consequences – but if journalists don’t attend, how can the public be informed?
The harsh reality is that they cannot. Often coroners do not publish the results of an inquest.
If journalists are reluctant to attend investigations, an entire branch of the justice system – and many others that must answer vital questions – is not held to account.
Surveys can often prompt a broader discussion of serious issues, the most recent being mental health and suicide.
Editors actively request and encourage journalists to speak to family and friends of a person under investigation.
Their contributions help us create a clearer picture of the deceased and also provide an opportunity to honor their loved one.
Often families do not wish to speak to the press and of course this decision must be respected.
However, as many brilliant campaigns by newspapers and websites across the country have shown, the contribution of one person’s family and friends can make all the difference in helping save others.
Without the presence of the press at inquests, questions will remain unanswered, debates undiscussed and lives lost.
“The evidence shows that Mr. Edwards lost control of the motorcycle and that Mr. Wass was driving correctly and had driven correctly and did not contribute to the collision.
“It is not possible to determine his speed, although I have supporting evidence from the way he was driving.
“It was discovered that he had taken cocaine at some point before the collision and it was over the drug driving limit.
“He also did not have the license required to legally drive motorcycles.
“During the drive he lost control and veered across the road and collided with the oncoming VW Golf.
“He died at the scene.”
Following his tragic death, Mr Edward’s partner Faye Avis paid a moving tribute to the man she described as an ‘incredible man’.
She said: “He showed me what true love looks like and for that I will always thank him.
“There will never be a second, a minute, an hour without someone thinking of him.
“He will be truly missed by so many people, there is a huge hole in people’s hearts.
“An incredible man who treated me like his world and my two daughters like his.
“Scott left me with the warmest memories and loved me in every way a woman can and should be loved.”
In addition to his partner, Mr Edward leaves behind his seven-year-old daughter Amaya.
Leave a tribute to Scott or a message of condolence to his family in our comments section