James Sidwell, 20, was a month short of celebrating his 21st birthday when he was killed by an oncoming lorry along the A63 in Hull
James Sidwell, 20, from Elloughton in Hull, died four days after he was run over by a lorry on the A63 close to South Hunsley School, at around 5.20am on New Year’s Day.
He was a month short of celebrating his 21st birthday along with his twin brother, Daniel,
Brother Daniel, mother Tina and father Michael, said they were “completely devastated” over his tragic death.
They paid tribute to him following an inquest to his death, which was held at Hull Coroners Court on Monday.
His family, including Daniel, said: “James was a typical 20-year-old. He was full of life with an infectious personality.
“He was great to be with, the life and soul of all the parties but always very caring, the one to make sure that everybody else was OK.
“He was very generous by nature and always made sure that everyone had a drink.
“We were so proud of James, and the young man that he had become, and feel distraught that he has been taken away from us far too soon.
“All the family are completely devastated over the loss of James who will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.”
James studied at South Hunsley School, where his family say he was a very popular pupil who achieved good grades and gained a large circle of friends.
According to his mum, James was a “fun and loving child but a little bit mischievous on occasions”.
His big passion was football and he played for a number of Sunday league teams during his teenage years.
During the time James was studying for his GCSEs, his grandad died of a brain tumour, which was a “very sad and sudden death”.
James took the death of his grandad badly, and accessed mental health support from his GP in May 2015, who then referred him to the childhood and adolescent mental health service.
To combat his low mood and suicidal thoughts, James was prescribed with anti-depressants and went to counselling. He was discharged from the service a year later.
He moved on to study business studies at York St John University and had completed two years of his three-year course. According to his mum, James “thoroughly enjoyed both the academic and social side of university life”, working hard but also expanding his circle of friends even further.
In court, evidence was also given by his mum Tina, who said: “James had struggles with mental health before university, but he would always call Daniel if he felt down and would never have taken his life.
“After he started university, James was back home most weekends with his washing, and me and his grandma would also go visit him and tidy up his room. He had a very wide array of friends and as well as liking to party, he was a clever lad who did well academically.
“He was the first person to ask how people’s days had been and would always take on others troubles. We will be forever heartbroken. James was a fun loving, generous human being that would do anything for anyone and he will remain in our hearts forever more.”
Coroner Ian Sprakes determined that the cause of James’ death was multiple brain injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.
He had been celebrating the new year on December 31, 2018 firstly with his family and then later went out to meet friends at a pub in North Ferriby and then moved on with the group to another pub in Welton, where friends said he was a “little drunk” and “happy, singing and dancing” throughout the night.
The group then moved on to a house party in Brough at around 2am to continue the festivities.
James’ friend gave evidence in court that he mentioned in the car ride back home provided by another friend that he had been arguing over text message with his ex-partner and had “thrown his phone on the floor” in upset and anger, but that he made a joke about it.
It was unclear as to whether James went into his home when he was dropped off, but he was seen by another friend at 5.10am near the “Welcome to Elloughton” sign.
Tragically, soon after he was seen, James walked on to the A63 nearby and was hit by a passing lorry. The driver called for an ambulance, with paramedics taking James to Hull Royal Infirmary.
Despite doctors operating on James twice to try to save him, he died in hospital surrounded by his loved ones on January 5.
Even though some alcohol was found in James’ system, pathologist Dr Laslo Karsai, who carried out James’ postmortem, determined that this level of alcohol was “not enough to effect his judgement”.
Forensic collision investigator Andrew Cross undertook a reconstruction of the crash, as well as examining the lorry involved and determined that there were “no defects” to the vehicle, and that the lorry was driving below the speed limit.
The lorry driver was tested for drugs and drink at the time of the accident, and it was ruled by police that “there was no case for the driver to answer for criminally”, with Mr Cross telling the court that “the pedestrian ran across the carriageway into the lorry, leaving the driver insufficient time to stop”.
Giving the cause of death as “multiple brain injury as a result of a road traffic collision”, coroner Ian Sprakes dismissed suicide as a conclusion and said: “This is a true tragedy in every sense of the word, where a promising young man’s life has been cut short.
“For reasons we will never know, James was involved in a collision with a HGV on the A63 and sustained traumatic life threatening injuries.
“There is nothing that the driver could do to avoid the tragic collision and despite James receiving treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary, this was not successful due to the significance of his head injury, and he died on January 5.
“There is nothing I can say to the family at this time to bring comfort, but I hope you can think back to the happy memories you have of James to get through this difficult time.”
James’s family also wanted to send their regards to the lorry driver involved in the accident.In a statement, his family said: “May we send our regards to the driver of the lorry involved in the accident.
“This must have been a very traumatic time for him and we send him our best wishes. A tragic accident and no one was to blame.”