Standing water may have caused A14 crash which killed teenagers, inquest hears

Scene of a fatal crash on the A14 eastbound at Rougham, west Suffolk. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Scene of a fatal crash on the A14 eastbound at Rougham, west Suffolk. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Boxing Day crash on the A14 in Suffolk where two teenage friends died may have happened due to water on the road, an inquest has heard.

William Smedley. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

William Smedley. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

William Smedley and Jake Paxton, both 18, were passengers in a grey Ford Fiesta, which was involved in a collision with a black Vauxhall Corsa at 9.30pm on December 26, just east of junction 45, near Rougham.

The inquest yesterday at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich heard that it appeared the car may have struck a patch of standing water.

William Smedley, of Jubilee Court, Nowton Road, Bury St Edmunds, died at the scene of the crash as a result of multiple injuries.

Jake Paxton, of Sicklesmere Road, Bury St Edmunds, died the day after the accident at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Jake Paxton, who died following a crash on the A14 in Rougham on Boxing Day

Jake Paxton, who died following a crash on the A14 in Rougham on Boxing Day - Credit: Archant


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The cause of his death was recorded as severe traumatic brain injury.

Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley formally opened the inquest and then adjourned the hearing to a date to be fixed to allow the completion of enquiries.

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A memorial was held in the Arc shopping centre car park in Bury St Edmunds – where the two friends would meet up and socialise.

Flowers were laid and balloons released into the air in tribute at the event.

Floral tributes to William Smedley and Jake Paxton, who died in a collision on the A14 near Rougham.

Floral tributes to William Smedley and Jake Paxton, who died in a collision on the A14 near Rougham. Pictured: ARCHANT

A GoFundMe page was also set up to help with William's funeral costs and has raised £2,725 in one month.

In a tribute to Jake, his family said: 'We as a family are devastated that Jake has been tragically taken from us.

'Jake was beautiful inside and out. He was loved so very, very much by all his family and those close to him.'

William's mother, Trudy Collier, said: 'I would like to thank everyone for your kind words and support.

'It's a shame that I never understood how many friends William had.

'I am overwhelmed and so proud to have raised a boy so well loved.

'To say we as a family are devastated is an understatement.

'I'd also like to send my deepest regards to Jake Paxton's family.'

A third man – the driver of the Ford Fiesta – was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The female driver of the Vauxhall Corsa, a 19-year-old woman, was not injured in the accident.

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