The families of two young men who lost their lives in a crash in April this year have supported the release of a video which captured their last moments as they sped to their deaths.
Driver Kyle Careford, 20, and Michael Owen, 21, both died instantly when the red Renault Clio they were in crashed into a church wall in the early hours of 12 April. Michael had been videoing their journey as they sped at up to 90mph through the Sussex countryside.
The video was shown at the inquest into their deaths on 6 October and the families hope that other young drivers will take notice of the perils of driving irresponsibly.
The inquest heard how the two friends had both taken a cocktail of prescribed and illegal drugs that would have resulted in severe toxicity and have had a severely detrimental effect on Kyle’s ability to control the car. This was compounded by his inexperience – he did not have a licence and was uninsured to drive the car, which was owned by Michael.
On the video, the pair can be seen and heard laughing, chatting and singing as Michael appears to be giving Kyle a driving lesson. The car, travelling well in excess of the 30mph speed limit, careered off the B2100, smashing through a wall into the grounds of St Michael and All Saints church.
Michael’s mother, Kat, said: “We bring our children up teaching them right from wrong. We guide them and give them our advice and hope they listen, but once they are adults we hope they make the right choices.
"I really don’t know why the boys chose to do what they did, but I blame them both for the decisions they made on this night.
"If all this stops one person from making the same mistake, then some good has come from showing this video. I’m hoping it will have an impact on young people and make them see that a bit of fun can have such devastating consequences.
"I would like all the young people out there to take notice and realise that you are not invincible and take seriously how precious your lives are to yourselves and others. I want young drivers to consider how much devastation it causes to the families and loved ones that are left behind.”
Chief inspector Phil Nicholas, Surrey and Sussex road policing unit, said: "I cannot overstate the courage of both families in working with us to release this video and to add their words and thoughts about it.
“Sadly, my officers have to deal with the aftermath of fatal collisions on an all too regular basis, but the loss of two young lives in this incident in such circumstances is in equal measure shocking and frustrating.”