A woman has told how she came across her husband at the scene of a crash which claimed his life while she was pregnant with twins.

Aaron Morris died at University Hospital North Durham at 6.40pm on July 1, 2022, hours after the crash on the junction of Priestburn Close and Newhouse Road in Esh Winning, County Durham.

He had a 95 per cent chance of survival and an ambulance, which should have reached him in 18 minutes took almost 50 minutes to arrive, a report said previously.

His wife, Samantha, who he married just 14 months earlier, was pregnant with twins at the time and had been in hospital as a patient.

The Northern Echo: Aaron and Sam Morris were married in May 2021.Aaron and Sam Morris were married in May 2021.

An inquest into 31-year-old Aaron’s death which got underway at Crook Coroners’ Court today (Monday, May 13) heard she had been delayed being discharged on the day he died - which was also her birthday - and the pair would have already been in the Lake District on a pre-planned trip to celebrate if she had been released from hospital earlier.

Because of that delay, Sam told the court, Aaron had picked up his off-road bike from a local garage and was taking it out to test it when he hit Barry Chappell’s Vauxhall.

Giving evidence Aaron’s widow told the court: “The man loved me more than anything in the world.

“He was a really good man, a fantastic man, he didn’t deserve to die.”

The Northern Echo: Samantha Morris with her twins.Samantha Morris with her twins. (Image: Contributor)

“He had only rode (sic) it three times. He bought it and rode it, rode it again and it broke, and the day of the accident he’d just picked it up from the garage.

“He went to ride it out on a field nearby. He was only on the road for a very short time. My husband didn’t fly around the village on a bike.

“I had been in hospital overnight - It was the only night we had spent apart since we had married.

“We had planned to go to the lakes on the day because it was my birthday. We would have been off to the lakes and he wouldn’t have been on his bike – we planned to go straight after breakfast.

“He went out while waiting for me to come home, I was on the way back from the hospital when I came across the accident."

She added: “I came around the corner and saw an accident.

“I had worked at the hospital as a student nurse and wanted to ring him to say I was going to stop. I looked again and realised it was Aaron.

“He had been shouting for me, going ‘get my wife she will know what to do’.

“He was saying, ‘Sam turn me over I can’t breathe’.

“I tried ringing the ambulance but couldn’t connect. Other people were on the phone to the ambulance.”

The Northern Echo: Aaron Morris.Aaron Morris. (Image: Contributor)

She detailed how a nurse, who is due to give evidence in the inquest, got him oxygen at the roadside while they waited for an ambulance which “eventually” turned up.

She travelled in the front of the ambulance when Aaron went into cardiac arrest as they approached Leadgate roundabout. It was then diverted mid-route from the RVI to University Hospital North Durham.

But, ambulance crew from a third-party firm Ambulnz could not operate the sat-nav system and did not know the way to the nearest hospital, a review by the North East Ambulance Service published last March said, so Samantha was asked for directions.

She told the inquest, “The driver, I think, made all the right decisions that day. He made the right decision to ask me where the nearest hospital was, he didn’t really have stop to find out.”

Paramedics, who should reached him within 18 minutes, instead took 49 minutes and 49 seconds, the report also said.

It apologised to Samantha and noted Aaron had a 95 per cent chance of survival.

The pair had been “ecstatic” to find out Samantha, who he met in April 2020, had fallen pregnant just a few weeks earlier.

The twins, Aaron-Junior John Robson Morris and Ambrose-Ayren Morris, were born three months premature in October of 2022. They spent 106 days in hospital before going home.

The Northern Echo: Aaron never got to meet his twins.Aaron never got to meet his twins. (Image: Contributor)

Aaron, who leaves behind five children including twins with Samantha, had only bought the off-road bike that April and ridden in three times in total, including on the day he died.

Barry Chappell was driving the car which Aaron hit. He pulled out of Priestburn Close when Aaron tried to brake and came off his bike hitting the front drivers’ side of Vauxhall.

Mr Chappell says he looked both ways twice and stopped for “up to 10 seconds” before pulling out, and did not see Aaron until he looked right again as he left the residential street.

He said: “A motorbike appeared from nowhere. I was certain that as I started to manoeuvre it was not in view.”

The Northern Echo: Flowers left at the scene of the collision in Esh Winning.Flowers left at the scene of the collision in Esh Winning.

The inquest, which was due to look at both the crash and whether ambulance delays contributed to Aaron’s death, had been due to last all week but it will now conclude at a later date after new evidence submitted late last week raised fresh issues over the delays.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service will now also have to attend to explain its role in delayed response times.

Aaron’s family, including Samantha and dad Colin who were both in attendance on Monday, have had to wait nearly two years for answers.

Aaron, who was a self-employed ground worker, did not have a full driving license, the inquest was told, and his provisional license had expired.

The off-road bike was also not road legal, with no plates, lights or speedo and was fitted with off-road tyres. However collision investigator PC Jason Coverdale told the court this “wouldn’t have made a difference in this particular collision”.

The Northern Echo: Aaron and Samantha Morris.Aaron and Samantha Morris. (Image: Contributor)

He said he “couldn’t find anything wrong” with the bike when checking its steering and braking.

Analysis of CCTV a short time earlier found Aaron was travelling at 32.9mph, however it was not possible to know what speed he was doing at the time of the crash.

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PC Coverdale added: “It can’t have been a high speed. There wasn’t a massive amount of damage [to the car or bike].”

Pathologist Dr Mulchay who carried out a post-mortem examination at the RVI in Newcastle recorded his medical cause of death as chest injuries.

It is understood a date for the remainder of the inquest will be set on Tuesday.