THE road death of a former Evesham schoolboy has been ruled an accident by a coroner.

Hugo Watson, aged 22, of Ashchurch Road, Tewkesbury, had been driving a black Volkswagen Golf at about 4.35pm on December 4 last year when he collided with a van travelling in the opposite direction on the B4077 at Little Washbourne, near Ye Olde Hobnails Inn.

The former Prince Henrys High School pupil lost control of the vehicle as he went round a bend and slid into the path of the other vehicle, Gloucestershire Coroners Court heard.

Mr Watson was not wearing a seatbelt, but PC David Holland, a police collision investigator said he did not think wearing the belt "would have had any effect whatsoever in helping save him in this impact".

The driver of the van Douglas Reeve, suffered two spinal fractures and the coroner David Dooley said he had been "fortunate to escape death".

Mr Reeve said: "I had no time to think and I had no recollection of what happened."

Police found there to be nothing wrong with Mr Watson's car which could have caused the crash and he had no alcohol or drugs in his system. PC Holland said Mr Watson had been travelling "at or slightly above" the speed limit.

A statement from Mr Watson's dad Christopher, said the 22-year-old was a "very happy and friendly person" who had "lots of friends in lots of places", and described him as a "competent and confident driver".

The crash took place on the same stretch of road where Kingham Hill School teacher Julie Stodart-Cook, 43, was killed last May.