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‘Beautiful and loving’ 18-year-old died in crash after losing control of car

PUBLISHED: 12:28 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:04 06 January 2020

Laura Dove, with her daughter Beth, who died in car crash A149 at Repps With Bastwick. Picture: Laura Dove

Laura Dove, with her daughter Beth, who died in car crash A149 at Repps With Bastwick. Picture: Laura Dove

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A popular 18-year-old died instantly after losing control of her friend’s mother’s car and crashing into a tree, an inquest heard.

Beth, 18, from Catfield, enjoyed riding her motorbike with friends in her spare time. Picture: Laura DoveBeth, 18, from Catfield, enjoyed riding her motorbike with friends in her spare time. Picture: Laura Dove

Beth Dove died when the car she was driving left the A149 at Repps With Bastwick on July 22, 2019.

The shop worker, from Catfield, had been described as a "beautiful, vibrant and loving daughter" in a family statement following the crash.

An inquest into her death, held at Norfolk Coroner's Court on January 6, was unable to find a cause of the loss of control.

Miss Dove's passenger Daisy Godbolt, also 18, suffered a number of injuries in the crash, including a fractured sternum. The pair had been friends for around 15 years since attending nursery together.

A convoy of motorbikes and cars rode from Norwich to Cromer in memory of the 18-year-old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA convoy of motorbikes and cars rode from Norwich to Cromer in memory of the 18-year-old. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

In a statement read to the inquest, Miss Godbolt, said: "Beth had come round to my house about 5pm and was planning on staying the night but during the evening she started talking about going to Great Yarmouth to see a friend.

"She asked if she could borrow my mum's car. She would ask me to make up excuses to persuade my mum because she had only let her once before.

"She told us she was insured to drive and my mum allowed us to go.

"The journey there was uneventful. She was a bit jittery to start but it gave me no reason for concern."

Beth Dove's mum and dad, Laura and Steve, ready to take part in the memorial ride for Beth from Norwich to Cromer. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBeth Dove's mum and dad, Laura and Steve, ready to take part in the memorial ride for Beth from Norwich to Cromer. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Blood tests found no evidence of alcohol or drugs in Miss Dove's system, while tests also proved she was not using her mobile phone at the time of the crash.

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Investigations from Norfolk Police's Forensic Collision Investigation team also found Miss Dove, who was not insured to drive the Honda Civic, was driving at a maximum speed of 54mph in the 60mph zone.

Police also said the possibility of an animal appearing in the road was unlikely as Miss Godbolt did not see one, although it could not be ruled out.

No defects were found with the car.

Miss Godbolt said: "She was really happy and in a good place in life.

"We went around a couple of roundabouts which she took quite quickly which made the car feel like it was leaning over.

"There wasn't much traffic on the road but on a couple of occasions I remember her bumping the cat's eyes in the road and I asked her to stick to her side of the road.

"The car seemed to twitch left and right. They weren't harsh movements, but then I remember the sound of tyres screeching and we were heading towards a large tree."

A number of cars stopped to help before emergency services arrived, but Miss Dove had died at the scene.

Miss Godbolt said: "I miss her greatly. She made me happy and knew how to make me laugh so much it hurt.

"It was a privilege to know her as a friend."

Area coroner Yvonne Blake concluded Miss Dove died as a result of a road traffic collision.

She said: "We will probably never know how and that is unsatisfactory to her family, but it seems she just lost control of the car."

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