Young Melton chef died from head injury as a result of road traffic collision - inquest concludes

Melton man Jake Bland (23) who died in a collision on the B676 on May 3 EMN-161209-195143001
Melton man Jake Bland (23) who died in a collision on the B676 on May 3 EMN-161209-195143001
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A young Melton chef died from a head injury after coming off his scooter on the B676 - an inquest has heard.

Jake Bland (23) had left work at the Crown Inn in Old Dalby at about 11pm on May 3 and was heading along Six Hills Lane, in the Ab Kettleby parish, when the incident happened.

The inquest into Jake’s death, held at Loughborough Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, was told that the fatal injury was caused after his head hit the road surface, despite having his helmet on.

It had previously been thought that Jake had hit a badger in the road, causing him to come off his scooter, but the inquest heard there was no evidence that the badger and moped had collided.

Witness Dylan Hutchinson told the inquest when he arrived at the scene he saw one light on the floor and knew a moped was involved.

He said: “I indicated, put my hazards lights on and pulled up adjacent to Jake. I saw the highlights of a car coming and flashed my light but the car hit him. I screamed to my partner to call 999.

“I got next to Jake. He was bleeding from the head and the bottom part of his helmet was broken. I was just holding his hand.

“Cars pulled up behind. A young girl jumped out and was stopping cars and an off duty police officer arrived. She took over and did CPR until the ambulance arrived.”

The Mazda that hit Jake while he was lying in the road, despite Mr Hutchinson’s attempts to warn others, was driven by Jake’s boss, Duncan Hooper, who was heading in the same direction having left the Crown Inn shortly after Jake that night.

But the inquest was told Jake’s fatal injuries were caused by his head hitting the road after his fall, not as a result of being hit by the car.

Mr Hooper told the inquest: “As I came around the corner there was a car with its full beams on and I flashed them. I didn’t see any hazard lights. Before I knew it there was something in the road. At the time I didn’t know what it was and I swerved to avoid it. I didn’t believe there was any contact but I hit the verge quite hard.

“As I ran back I knew it was Jake. I removed his helmet, as I was told by a responder on the phone.”

The inquest heard that Mr Hooper drove down the road to flag down ambulances before returning to the scene.

Chief forensic pathologist professor Guy Rutty, who carried out the post mortem examination on Jake, told the inquest that he would have lost consciousness almost instantaneously after hitting his head on the road and died shortly afterwards.

Prof Rutty added that members of the East Midlands Ambulance Service and East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme, a voluntary medical pre-hospital doctors service, gave appropriate treatment to Jake at the scene but couldn’t save him.

Trevor Kirkman, senior coroner for Rutland and North Leicestershire, concluded that Jake died as a result of a road traffic collision and offered his sincere condolences for Jake’s ‘tragic and untimely’ death.

Speaking to the Melton Times in May Jake’s family described him as a ‘genuine, kind-hearted and funny’ person who had many friends.

Jake was given a beautiful send off/funeral with so much love expressed by people for him in church, a lovely white horse and carriage and the releasing of balloons. More than 400 people attended, with £900 taken in donations in church.