Young Northamptonshire man who died after collision with tree was ‘loveable and kind’

Northampton General Hospital
Northampton General Hospital
  • The 22-year-old had ambitions to become a PE teacher
  • He had not been drinking or speeding when he lost control of his car
  • Other accidents have taken place on the same stretch of road between Rothersthorpe and Kislingbury

The mother of a Northamptonshire man who died after driving into a tree has said that her eldest son was a “loveable, kind and polite young man.”

James Pierre Docherty was 22 when he lost control of his silver Honda Civic while driving near a bend in the Kislingbury to Rothersthorpe Road in the evening of January 13 this year, on his way home from Sainsbury’s.

I keep expecting him to walk through the door

Caroline Docherty

He died two days later at University Hospital in Coventry of a head injury sustained after he collided with a tree by the side of the road.

An inquest into his death at Northampton General Hospital yesterday heard that he had not been speeding or drinking at the time.

In a statement by his mother Caroline, who Mr Docherty lived with in Grafton Way in Rothersthorpe, said: “It has been an absolute nightmare. I keep expecting him to walk through the door.”

A Homebase employee and sport science student at the University of Northampton, Mrs Docherty said that her son was a hard worker with aspirations to become a PE teacher.

She said: “He was a happy and laid-back boy with lots of friends and girlfriend. He also had a great relationship with older folk in the community who often commented to me how loveable, kind and polite he was.

“He was ambitious and driven and kept very healthy, and he often organised local football matches.

“He was a contented and happy lad.”

Witnesses who saw Mr Docherty’s car in the road shortly after the accident phoned the emergency services.

During the inquest, John Underwood of the police collision investigation team, said that Mr Docherty had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision, but that evidence showed he had been travelling at a “reasonable pace” and there was nothing wrong with his car.

He said: “The accident was most likely caused by driver error, but it is possible that he may have been distracted by something.”

Anne Pember. senior coroner for Northamptonshire, recorded an accidental death and said: “We don’t know what it was that caused him to lose control - it is possible that there may have been some wildlife in the road.”

Following the inquest, Mrs Docherty mentioned that there had since been further accidents on that area of road.