Family says death of teen in crash has left 'huge hole' in their lives

Charlie Turner 17, who died in crash in MIddleton, King's Lynn

Charlie Turner 17, who died after a crash in Middleton, near King's Lynn - Credit: Norfolk police

The family of a teenager who died after his friend lost control of his car on a rural road said his death had left a "huge hole" in their lives.

Charlie Turner, 17,  from Watlington, died after the Ford Fiesta in which he was a backseat passenger crashed on a bend in Middleton, near King's Lynn, and overturned in a ditch, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Charlie was cut free after being trapped in the car, but died six days later in hospital. 

Harvey Cross, 19, of Cedar Grove, North Runcton, pleaded guilty to causing the death of his friend by careless driving and was given 16 weeks custody, suspended for a year, and a 12-month driving ban.

He was also ordered to pay £500 costs.

After the case Charlie's mother Victoria paid tribute to her son and said: "Regardless of the sentence it is not going to bring Charlie back. Charlie had not started his adult life. The effect of his death has been devastating for our family and his friends changing our lives forever.

"Losing Charlie has left a huge hole in our lives and the family dynamic will never be the same again.

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"Charlie was a big, lively character and loved by so many. He was reserved and never had a bad word to say about anyone. Charlie was ambitious and had plans to live life to the full and chase his dreams."

She said they would take inspiration from his calm, good humoured character.

She added: "We will talk about Charlie every day and make him proud."

The court heard Cross inhaled nitrous oxide, often known as "laughing gas", shortly before the crash in Station Road on April 22, 2020, but that there was no evidence it played any part in the accident.

Prosecutor Chris Youell said Charlie, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered a brain injury.

A collision investigation was unable to say why Cross had crashed on the bend but Mr Youell said a factor was his lack of driving experience. He had passed his test three months before the accident.

John Farmer,  mitigating, said Cross was only 17 at the time and had misjudged the corner.

He said Cross, who was of previous good character, had lost a lifetime friend and would have to live with what happened for the rest of his life.

"This is an incident which has changed the lives of two families," he said.

Sentencing Cross, Recorder Simon Taylor QC said: "A young life has been cut short before it really started."

He accepted Cross was unfamiliar with driving on narrow rural roads.

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