Northampton teenager who died in tragic accident on A43 ‘may have been distracted by his phone’

Harry Batty, from Northampton, died after his Ford Fiesta crashed on the A43 at Broughton at about 4.30pm on November 30 last year.
Harry Batty, from Northampton, died after his Ford Fiesta crashed on the A43 at Broughton at about 4.30pm on November 30 last year.
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A Northampton teenager who died after a head-on collision with a lorry may have been distracted by his phone, an inquest has heard.

Harry Batty, 19, died after his Ford Fiesta crashed on the A43 at Broughton near Kettering at about 4.30pm on November 30 last year.

An inquest in Kettering today (Thursday) heard how Mr Batty was driving home from college when he careered on to the wrong side of the road.

Witnesses said it appeared as though he was turning off – even though there was no exit – before he tried to move back on to his side of the carriageway.

But he drove into the path of an oncoming HGV, with the driver saying “it happened so quickly there was nothing he could have done”.

Forensic collision investigator PC David Watson said Mr Batty’s phone was in his lap at the time of the crash, but they had no way of knowing whether he was using it.

He said: “Harry’s phone was in his lap at the time of the collision but we couldn’t assess it because it was so badly damaged.

“It would appear that the accident was due to driver error.

“The phone in his lap means it may have distracted him but we do not know.”

Mr Batty’s car was found to have no mechanical defects and both his car and the HGV were travelling at about 47mph. The speed limit for that stretch of road is 60mph.

The teenager, who went to Malcolm Arnold Academy before attending Northampton College, was described as a ‘big teddy bear’ and a talented brass band performer.

Father Stuart said: “The world has lost a gentleman.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death by road traffic collision, senior coroner Anne Pember said: “For reasons unknown Harry crossed to the wrong side of the road and there was nothing the HGV driver could have done.”