A TEENAGER lost control of her motorcycle before colliding with a Toyota Land Cruiser travelling in the opposite direction, an inquest heard.

Charlotte Rees was 18 when she died on Sunday, April 22, last year, near the main gates of RNAS Culdrose on the A3083.

At a hearing in Truro this morning, three witnesses to the crash - including the driver of the Toyota - gave evidence to coroner Barrie van den Berg.

Bridget Webb, a social worker, was driving a VW Transporter towards Helston when she saw Charlotte coming into view around a bend on a black Honda.

She said: "She was wobbling a bit, as though she was trying to correct herself. She went from wobbling to veering across the road in a diagonal line from her side of the road towards the hedge.

"The driver in the 4x4 tried to avoid her by going towards the hedge but at some point they collided. She couldn't do anything to avoid it. I don't think anybody was driving fast. Charlotte went up into the air and cartwheeled over the hedge and the bike went under the 4x4, although I didn't know that until I got out of my car."

A second witness, Spencer Morgan, was travelling in the same direction as Charlotte, who was from Crowntown, near Helston.

"I thought she must have hit a stone or had a puncture because it was so sudden - I was thinking please hit the wall and not the car. I could see she was trying to correct the bike, but she couldn't."

The 4x4 driver Jennifer Williams was not at the inquest, but provided a written statement.

"I could see her arms moving with the handle bars. Her hands looked like they were the same height as her head. She looked out of control of the bike, I thought ‘oh my God she is coming right towards me’.

"It was a split second thing and I hit the brakes. There was a hell of a bang and I shut my eyes and expected something to come at my windscreen, but I couldn't see anything.

"There was a glove on the bonnet of the car and a woman was running towards the hedge saying 'That's my daughter'".

Vehicle examiner Mark Richards said that the motorcycle "wasn't cared for". He added that there was an issue with the back brake, which wasn't working properly because the linkage had started to seize up.

He said that there hadn't been any evidence of the back brake being used and that using the front brake only would cause "instability".

Andrew Fletcher, a forensic collision investigator with Devon & Cornwall Police, said that there were no marks on the road apart from where the collision had taken place.

Barrie van den Berg returned a verdict of death caused by a road traffic collision, but that the exact cause of the collision remains unknown.

Addressing family present at the inquest, he said: "It is unbearable to lose a child and you have my deepest sympathy".

A death notice published in the Falmouth Packet on May 2, 2018, said: "Adored daughter of Hilary and Richard, dearly loved sister of Rachel, darling fiancé of Ethan, much loved granddaughter of Geoff and Sandra, Carol and Jim. So sadly missed by all her family and many friends."