A “steering fault” caused the death of a 22-year-old man who crashed in Cornwall after losing control of his car, an inquest has heard. Tommy Boraston died on Saturday, July 23, 2022, when his grey Ford Fiesta drifted onto an opposing lane at a bend on the A390 at West Taphouse near Lostwithiel. An inquest into his death held in Truro has heard he tried to correct his course before colliding with a Peugeot in a horror crash that killed him instantly.
Cornwall Live reported that Bodmin police forensic vehicle examiner Geoffrey Chapman investigated Mr Boraston’s car.
He said he found no power steering fluid in the engine due to a fault caused by wear and tear.
Mr Chapman said a cable in the engine was tied back with cable ties and had sagged, bringing it into contact with the driving shaft.
Over time, the friction caused by the contact meant the engine suffered a leak.
Mr Chapman told the inquest that, without the fluid, the power steering “would not work”.
He added the fault would have made the steering “heavy” and offered a “large amount of resistance”, requiring “more effort to turn the car”.
He ruled that the defect “would have been a causative factor in that collision”.
The investigator concluded: “It was a major steering defect which would have been seen as a dangerous failure if it had come for an MOT.”
Mr Borraston was one of three people involved in the crash that killed him, as he was driving with a young woman, a friend of his with whom he worked at the Ship Inn in Lerryn.
She was badly injured, with Nicola Johnson, who was driving the other car in the collision, also suffering injuries.
Mrs Johnson was hospitalised in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, for ten days after the accident.
She also provided testimony to the inquest, stating she felt it was “unusual” he steered across the road.
She added: “I just saw the other car shoot across the road.”
Family members and friends described much-loved Ms Boraston as “unafraid to wear his heart on his sleeve”.
They added he was a “shining star” who was “exploding into our lives and taken far too soon”.
Other motorists stopped at the scene and attended to the crash victims.
Alan Toms, a local entertainer driving behind the 22-year-old, called emergency services.
A nurse visiting Cornwall from New Zealand attempted to provide medical assistance until ambulances arrived.
But Mr Boraston was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.
Family and friends raised £8,560 to give him the “send-off he deserves” on GoFundMe.
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