‘Chicken’ game with lorry killed teenager

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A TEENAGER who was run down and killed by an articulated lorry was playing “chicken” with the traffic, police told an inquest.

Thomas Playforth, 18, stood in front of the lorry with his arms outstretched defiantly “like a starfish” the hearing in Rotherham was told.

A coroner heard that the plasterer and labourer, from Maltby, Rotherham, died instantly from massive head injuries.

Mr Playforth had been walking with a group of friends on a Friday night in February 2010 and witnesses said he had been seen earlier doing the same thing in front of a car.

Seconds before the accident in Muglet Lane, Maltby, a teenager had looked away because she feared what might happen and another witness remembered seeing him putting his arms out before he was struck.

The inquest heard that the victim had been drinking lager and cider from around noon, had smoked cannabis and taken diazepam.

Crash investigator PC Brit Birch said the lorry had been doing 21.7mph and there was nothing more the driver could have done to prevent the accident.

Rotherham deputy coroner Fred Curtis recorded a verdict of accidental death.