Teen drove at speeds of up to 100mph

A talented teenage footballer died after he failed to negotiate a sharp bend in his parents' car at speeds of up to 100mph, an inquest heard yesterday.

A talented teenage footballer died after he failed to negotiate a sharp bend in his parents' car at speeds of up to 100mph, an inquest heard yesterday.

Edmond Fillette, 17, took his parents' black Hyundai coupé without permission with a friend to Yarmouth's South Denes Road because there were no speed cameras there and he wanted to see how fast the car could go.

An inquest held at Yarmouth Magistrates' Court heard that although his 18-year-old friend Travis Manning urged him to slow down as they approached a sharp bend, Edmond continued at speed until he “ran out of road”. The 17-year-old, of Borough Road, Gorleston, had not passed his driving test and had been drinking.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, deputy coroner Nicholas Holroyd said Edmond had died because of the great speed he was travelling, his inexperience, the alcohol, and the fact that he “failed to navigate the bend or slow down at all”.

He had 260mg per litre of alcohol in his bloodstream which would have made him “drowsy”, Mr Holroyd said.

Mr Holroyd added: “I saw a shrine of candles and cards to Edmond by the place where he died. Few things have moved me as much as that did. I spoke to his friends and colleagues and know that he was very popular.”

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There were conflicting reports of what happened that night, but some witnesses said they did not see brake lights as the car sped along the seafront road. A road collision investigator reported that there was no evidence of braking at all.

The car left the ground completely as it careered off the road, hitting a metal shed in mid-air before coming to rest in the sand beyond at about 2.30am on March 28.

Edmond, a promising footballer who was signed to play for Gorleston Rangers, would have been knocked unconscious and died quickly, pathologist Dr Lazlo Igali told the inquest. Mr Manning, who was uninjured, got out of the car and felt for his friend's pulse, shouting at five other teenagers who were at the seafront that night for help.

The scene was illuminated by the searchlight of a Norwegian fishing trawler after crewmen witnessed the accident. The skipper said it was 2.33am on a clear, dry night, when his crew pointed out what at first looked like smoke, flares, and red and amber lights. He said it looked like the car was somersaulting over and over.

Mr Manning said Edmond had taken his parents' car before and that there was video footage of him doing sliding skids in it on his mobile phone.

Edmond's parents, Edmond and Marcella Fillette, their two sons, and Mrs Fillette's mother, as well as about a dozen friends, attended the inquest.

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