Racing driver speeding at 96mph in 60 zone when he died, inquest hears

Racing driver, 20, was speeding at up to 96mph in a 60mph zone when he died in horror crash on day he launched his own race car business, inquest hears

  • Zach Anderton lived in Chester, Cheshire, when he was killed in April this year 
  • He lost control of the car before it collided with a hedge and crashed into a tree 
  • Coroner’s court today heard that his death came on a ‘pivotal’ day in his career 

Zach Anderton, 20, (pictured) was living with his parents in Chester, Cheshire, when he was killed in a traffic collision in April earlier this year

A racing driver was speeding at up to 96mph in a 60mph zone when he died in a horror crash, according to an inquest.

Zach Anderton was living with his parents in Chester, Cheshire, when he was killed in a traffic collision on April 17 earlier this year.

But the coroner’s court today heard that 20-year-old’s death came on a ‘pivotal’ day in his career. 

Zach spent much of his early life overseas after being born in Arizona, America.

He first started racing cars when he was three years old and had competed in his first race within the year.

He won countless championships and motorsport quickly became his ‘entire world’.

His family moved back to his father’s native UK in 2010 when Zach was 11 but his love of racing continued and his life ambition became to build a business from it to include building his own race cars.

On the day of his death, Zach and his parents, mother Krista and father Martin, had attended a meeting with the University of Chester at Thornton Science Park to present his business proposal.

The 20-year-old (centre) had been travelling with his close friend Adam Barnes (right) at the time of the accident before the car lost control and collided with a hedge before then hitting a tree (left, Zach’s father)

The university agreed to provide space, support and a grant for his business which was a ‘key moment’ in Zach’s dreams coming to fruition.

His father told the inquest that his son had been on a ‘huge high’ that morning. 

The family had gone for a celebratory lunch with his parents before Zach returned home to spend a few hours on his racing car simulator.

He then went to pick up his close friend Adam Barnes as the two were planning to visit Adam’s father’s racing workshop which was just 10 minutes away in Clotton.

It had been a clear day with little traffic on the roads as the pair drove in Zach’s BMW M3 through Waverton on the A41 and on to country roads.

Zach had owned the car for about six months and drove it regularly.

Adam said that he had no concerns about Zach’s driving but recalled that they had been travelling ‘fast’ after passing through a set of temporary traffic lights.

Assistant coroner Dr Janet Napier listed the cause of Zach’s death as multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision

The car lost control just minutes later and collided with a hedge before then hitting a tree which caused both young men to sustain serious injuries.

Paramedics arrived on the scene in an air ambulance but Zach was pronounced dead at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool shortly afterwards. 

Adam was able to make a full recovery in the months following the collision.

Assistant coroner Dr Janet Napier listed the cause of Zach’s death as multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision.

She said that she was satisfied that there was no contribution to the loss of control of the vehicle caused by other people, cars, illness, weather conditions or intoxication. 

Forensic collision investigators were unable to specifically pinpoint the speed the BMW had been travelling.

But they did ascertain that it was somewhere between 70 and 96mph despite the speed limit on that particular stretch of road being 60mph.

Dr Napier added: ‘The exact speed is impossible to pinpoint.

‘It was established that the car’s front shock absorbers were leaking and that the coil spring was broken, allowing free movement of the car’s body.’

Expressing her condolences to Zach’s parents, she said: ‘It can’t be put into words how awful your loss is. 

‘I wish you the very best.’

Zach’s parents Krista and Martin (pictured) recently took part in a drive-out from Chester to North Wales in memory of their son. Kirsta described him as ‘the kindest person I’ve ever known’

Zach’s mother, who closed her Chester business Mama K’s Burritos after the tragedy, who described her ‘amazing’ son as ‘the kindest person I’ve ever known’.

She said: ‘He would do anything for anyone. He put everyone ahead of him. 

‘If he knew someone was struggling he would be there for them. 

‘He was funny, full of joy, love and kindness and he was goofy – he always had a smile.

‘I can honestly say that we never had an argument between us – we had “discussions” but never a cross word and every day we said I love you.’

Krista added: ‘Zach lived his life to 100 per cent and did everything to the absolute limit. He did more in 20 years than most people do in their whole lives.

‘We love him so very much like all parents love their kids. He was our life, it’s as simple as that, in our eyes he was perfect in every way.’

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