Inquest opens into “terrible tragedy” of Morley crash that killed schoolboys George Wharton and Rhys Baker

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  • Car was trying to overtake another “at speed” before hitting tree
  • Both boys died from ‘multiple injuries’
  • Inquest adjourned pending police investigations
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Two boys died when the car they were in crashed into a tree after the driver tried to overtake another vehicle “at speed”, an inquest has heard.

George Wharton, 14, and Rhys Baker, 13, were in the back of the Peugeot 206 on the A62 Gelderd Road on Saturday, March 7, when the incident happened.

Flowers have been left at the scene of the crash

Flowers have been left at the scene of the crash

An inquest in Wakefield, which opened this morning, heard the driver, understood to be 21-year-old Tom McMeekin, lost control at a slight bend in the road at about 1.50pm.

Sgt Carl Quinn, of West Yorkshire Police’s major collision enquiry team, told coroner David Hinchliff: “The collision involved a single vehicle travelling at speed along Gelderd Road towards Gelderd roundabout away from Leeds.

“It is reported to have overtaken a vehicle and during this manoeuvre it has lost control and started to rotate 180 degrees, impacting with a tree just off the carriageway in the area just behind the driver’s door.”

There was “significant damage” to the car as a result of the crash, he said.

This is a terrible tragedy for all concerned

Coroner David Hinchliff

George, of Harwill Rise, Churwell, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rhys, of Nineveh Gardens, Holbeck, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary but died shortly before 7pm the same day.

The results of a post mortem gave the provisional cause of both boys’ deaths as multiple injuries.

Mr Hinchliff, who adjourned the inquest pending the outcome of police enquiries, said: “This is a terrible tragedy for all concerned.”

He said he hoped to carry out full inquests into the two boys’ deaths at the same time.

Mr McMeekin and two other young passengers, 14-year-old Kameron Walters, and Joshua Van Veen, 15, remain in hospital after suffering serious injuries.