A MOMENTARY lapse of concentration may have led to the death of a teenage rally ace in a car crash, an inquest heard.
Mechanic Dominic Yates, a member of Sheffield and Hallamshire Motor Club, was a Rallycross Open Championship winner in 2008.
He was driving home from work at Mellors Elliott Motorsport in Bakewell at 5.30pm last December 22 when his Citroen AX strayed over centre white lines and collided with an oncoming Audi A3.
The collision occurred on the Chesterfield to Baslow road at Chander Hill, Holymoorside - the scene of six fatal accidents in the 11 years.
Audi driver Richard Hanney told the inquest: “For no apparent reason, a car coming towards me came over the centre white line. There wasn’t sufficient time to react and we collided.”
Dominic, of Walton Road, Chesterfield, was declared dead at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, having suffered multiple injuries.
Collision investigator PC Chris Ronayne said the Citroen crossed two solid white lines and its front end hit the front offside of the Audi. The Citroen had “split” and Dominic was thrown out.
He said there was no evidence of braking or speeding by either car. The limit is 60mph and Mr Hanney said he was travelling at no more than 55mph.
“In my opinion the Citroen could have crossed the centre white lines due to a momentary lapse of concentration. But we will never know why,” said PC Ronayne.
Det Insp Jim Allen said: “Dominic is a desperately unlucky young man. He was doing the job he loved and looking forward to marriage. He lost his life in tragic circumstances.”
Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson recorded an accidental death verdict. Inquests into two other deaths on the road would be held soon and any safety improvement recommendations would follow the hearings.