Two North Staffordshire work-mates killed in motorway crash and their grieving families will never know why it happened

The grieving families of a grandad and a teenager killed in a motorway smash will never know why the crash happened. Driver David Walton and 17-year-old passenger Joshua Hatton-Emery were killed when their van collided with an HGV in May, 2019. Inquests into their deaths heard there was a diversion in place on the A74(M) in Dumfries and Galloway following another fatal collision nine hours earlier which meant only one of the three lanes remained open.

The lane closure had been signposted for 800 yards. But for ‘an unknown reason’ 57-year-old David failed to react to an HGV slowing down in front of him and ploughed into the back of it.

57-year-old David Walton, from Werrington, on his wedding day

Grandfather-of-six David, from Werrington, was in Scotland to deliver furniture. Family friend Joshua, of Norton, had a part-time job as a driver’s mate and accompanied David.

Student Joshua stayed at David’s home the night before, and they set off at 1.45am on May 5, 2019. The collision happened at 6.10am.

Read More
Related Articles

A report from the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit stated: “For an unknown reason, David Walton failed to realise the preceding vehicle was travelling slowly ahead of him and failed to react in any manner, resulting in his van careering into the rear of the HGV.” The inquest heard David was able to speak to the emergency services when they arrived before suffering a cardiac arrest as they tried to extricate him from the wreckage.

Both he and Joshua – a former Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent pupil – had suffered catastrophic injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Two North Staffordshire work-mates killed in motorway crash and their grieving families will never know why it happenedJoshua Hatton-Emery

Tests showed David had not been using his mobile phone at the time. Assistant coroner Margaret Jones concluded that David and Joshua died as a result of a road traffic collision. She said: “I do not know how much sleep David Walton had the night before.

At 6.10am a collision occurred on the northbound carriageway on a section of the road which had been coned off due to an earlier accident, reducing the carriageway to one lane.

“As Mr Walton negotiated that, for an unknown reason, he failed to react to an HGV ahead of him and collided with it.”

You may also like...