Driver 'killed instantly' in crash

A TEENAGE driver whose car burst into flames moments after a crash would have died instantly in the initial impact, an inquest was told.Kurt Doe, 19, of Haverhill, was killed when his car smashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle on the A1307 close to the Bartlow crossing on December 2 last year.

A TEENAGE driver whose car burst into flames moments after a crash would have died instantly in the initial impact, an inquest was told.

Kurt Doe, 19, of Haverhill, was killed when his car smashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle on the A1307 close to the Bartlow crossing on December 2 last year.

An inquest held in Cambridge yesterday was told how Mr Doe, a computer engineer, appeared to have lost control of his Vauxhall Corsa after negotiating a bend.

He veered into the oncoming lane and hit a Peugeot travelling in the opposite direction, sustaining fatal injuries.


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Robert Courtenay, the driver of the Peugeot, described how he scrambled from his car, rescuing his four-year-old daughter from the back seat, before Mr Doe's car exploded.

He said: “The first thing I saw was the car coming towards me, its headlights were coming straight at me.”

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He added: “After the impact the airbags inflated, there was smoke and my daughter was screaming, there was fire on the road surface at this point, but the car itself wasn't on fire.

“I crawled out, got my daughter out and then the other car exploded. At no stage did I get a chance to go to the other car.”

Mr Courtenay suffered internal injuries in the crash and his daughter broke a rib, and sustained cuts and bruising and injuries from her seat belt.

A post mortem revealed Mr Doe died from a combination of a fracture to the base of his skull, damage to his heart and a ruptured aorta, caused by the impact, which would have killed him instantly, the inquest was told.

Pc Paul Symonds said it would appear Mr Doe had been travelling at more than 70mph in a 60mph zone, and although he could not be certain, it would appear that he had travelled too fast around a bend and tried to correct the path of his car, but overcompensated and lost control.

An eyewitness said Mr Doe's car appeared to be travelling at an “excessive speed” and his engine was heard to be revving loudly, but the subsequent fire meant it was impossible to fully examine the car for any mechanical fault.

Mr Doe had passed his driving test last April, on his fifth attempt, and was described as a competent, though relatively inexperienced driver.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Dr Samuel Baxter said: “He died before the fire started and would have been unaware of anything that happened.”

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