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Fatal crash teenager was uninsured

PUBLISHED: 09:33 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:06 03 July 2010

AN uninsured teenager died after driving his friend's car at “inappropriate” speeds and ending up in a dyke after hitting a tree, an inquest heard.

Stefan Hilton, 19, pestered his friend Robert Grayson to let him drive the car, but as he was uninsured, his friend repeatedly refused.

AN uninsured teenager died after driving his friend's car at “inappropriate” speeds and ending up in a dyke after hitting a tree, an inquest heard.

Stefan Hilton, 19, pestered his friend Robert Grayson to let him drive the car, but as he was uninsured, his friend repeatedly refused.

However, after stopping for a cigarette on a lay-by, the teenager jumped into the driver's seat and drove off with his friend sitting in the passenger's seat.

This week, a Norwich inquest heard the car hit a bump in the road, became airborne, and Mr Hilton subsequently lost control of the car, before it ended up almost submerged in water in a dyke. Mr Hilton died several days later at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Mr Grayson told the inquest his friend had threatened to “rough him up” if he did not allow him to drive the Ford Fiesta, which was owned by Mr Grayson's father, Stanley.

Mr Grayson told the inquest: “He had asked me to drive the car on previous occasions, but I had always refused. It's my dad's car and he's not insured to drive it.

“When I kept refusing he became more aggressive, and said he would rough me up if I did not let him drive. It was making me nervous and I pulled over into a lay-by for a cigarette to calm things down.

“After a couple of minutes he seemed to calm down, but he jumped into the driver's seat and slammed the door. I had left the keys in the ignition. I told him to get out but he laughed. Stefan said if I let him drive for a little while I could have the car back.

“But when he drove off the wheels spun and his driving was too fast. I repeatedly told him to get out and slow down.

“When he turned onto a country road his driving got worse and the tyres were screeching on the bends.

“Eventually the car hit a bump, became airborne, and when it landed back on the road it started to snake from side to side. It hit a tree on my side and then ended up in a dyke.”

Mr Grayson said he had been traumatised by the accident and could suffer from fluid on the lungs for the rest of his life.

Pc Wendy Biddle, collision investigator, confirmed the underside of the car had hit the road surface, before it rotated and mounted the nearside kerb, travelling through hedges into the dyke.

She concluded: “The vehicle was out of control and crossed both lanes of the single-carriageway. The accident was caused by the driver driving at inappropriately high speeds for the conditions of the road.”

Greater Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of death as a result of a road traffic collision.

The crash happened on the B1159 Horsey road at West Somerton, near Yarmouth, at about 7pm on May 27 last year. The two friends were driving to Hemsby from Stalham.

Mr Hilton was pronounced dead at Addenbrooke's on June 5. A medical report gave the cause of death as a severe traumatic head injury.

The fairground worker and former Stalham High School pupil, from Beach Road, Hemsby, carried an organ donor card, and his parents Susan and Derek said after the inquest that several people had already benefited.

Mrs Hilton, from The Esplanade, Scratby, said: “One man has a new retina so he can see, and someone else has Stefan's pancreas and kidney.”


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