Reckless driving kills, says coroner

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A Nottinghamshire coroner has issued a stark warning to young boy racers that reckless driving can lead to tragedy in a matter of seconds.

Mairin Casey made the comments during the inquest into the death of two Blidworth friends who were tragically killed in a head on car crash on Blidworth’s Main Road in December last year.

The inquest at Nottingham’s Council House was told how on the evening of 1st December a Fiat Punto driven by Adam Smith (18) was seen driving at speed between Kirkby and Ravenshead.

Adam and his passenger and friend Guy Bennett (19) were both killed when minutes later they ploughed into an oncoming van while trying to overtake another car driven by a friend while approaching a dip in the road.

Said Ms Casey: “This was a tragic and unnecessary loss of the lives of two young men who, through their immaturity, appeared reckless to the consequences of driving in a reckless manner.

“Driving in this way leads to fatalities and this was not an isolated incident - the loss of life could well have been greater.”

Blidworth farmer Steven Vose told the inquest how on the same night he had been driving home on Main Road in the opposite direction to the two young men after buying sandwiches.

Mr Vose collided with Adam Smith and Guy Bennett just moments after he first saw their car.

As the Punto was overtaking a Vauxhall Corsa driven by their friend, Dominic Seaston, both lanes were blocked.

Mr Vose said: “I was in the bottom of a dip in the road and the lads were coming over the top.

“The road was completely blocked and I was going nowhere.”

The court was told how Mr Vose suffered chest pains for some time after the accident and how one his dogs, which was with him in his Transit van, had its legs broken during the smash.

PC Andrew Fletcher, a forensic collision investigator, said Mr Vose had little or no time to react.

He said Adam may have tried to pull back in when he saw Mr Vose’s van and been unable to regain control after steering harshly to avoid it.

Ms Casey also read out statements from a couple who saw Dominic Seaston’s Vauxhall Corsa pull out of a junction at speed without looking minutes before the accident.

Both were shocked when Adam Smith’s Fiat Punto did the same straight after.

When the couple saw the two cars accelerate at speed away from traffic lights near the Larch Farm pub the young woman was reported as saying to her partner, ‘we will get round the corner and they will be in a ditch.’

Ms Casey said she was unable to gave an accidental death verdict in this case, so recorded a narrative conclusion.

After the inquest Guy Bennett’s family remembered the sadly missed teenager.

His mother, Denise, said: “We love Guy and miss him - he was a loving son. He was definitely the comedian of the family.”

His sister, Claire, said: “Every day you think about it. You see a picture and you are reliving it all.”

At the time of the accident last year a worker at the Three Ways Petrol Station in Blidworth described Adam as ‘a normal cheeky lad, always happy and smiling.’