Teen admits death by careless driving after crash that killed 17-year-old

Station Road, at the junction with Hill Road, in Middleton where the accident took place. Picture: G

The inquest into the death of Charlie Turner, who died from his injuries at a crash at Middleton, has been adjourned. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

A 17-year-old boy died after a friend lost control of a car and crashed in Middleton last year, a court has been told.

Charlie Turner died in hospital six days after the Ford Fiesta left the road at a bend and overturned.

At King's Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, driver Harvey Cross, 18, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

The hearing was told that all three teenagers in the car had inhaled nitrous oxide shortly before the crash in Station Road at about 8pm on April 22, 2020.

Charlie, a rear-seat passenger, was trapped and had to be cut free.

Prosecutor Michael Devaney said: “He was resuscitated at the scene by paramedics but he sadly died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on April 28 as a result of his injuries.”

A collision investigation was unable to say for sure why Cross, who was 17 at the time, had crashed on the bend.

“It was likely to be a combination of inexperience, excessive speed and also, perhaps, due to the effect of having inhaled nitrous oxide,” added Mr Devaney.

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The other survivor told police that, before the crash, the three teens had each paid towards buying 48 canisters of the gas at Lynn’s Fairstead estate. They had then driven to Bawsey Lakes and all three had inhaled some.

An expert report said it was difficult to state whether Cross’s driving would have been impaired but nitrous oxide can cause disorientation and dizziness.

Mr Devaney said: “[The crash] appears to be a case of momentary inattention but there is the aggravating feature of inhaling nitrous oxide which, in any view, is irresponsible behaviour.”

Andrew Cogan, mitigating, said a video on his client’s phone showed the boys inhaling the gas at 7.29pm and the expert report said the effects could adversely affect driving for “up to 30 minutes or so”.

He added that the boys had been for a walk for about 20 minutes after inhaling the nitrous oxide.

The magistrates declined jurisdiction and committed Cross to Norwich Crown Court for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

The defendant, of Cedar Grove, North Runcton, was given an interim driving disqualification and released on unconditional bail.

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