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Temple Ewell man dies after losing control of car in Snowdown

A young man was killed when he lost control of the car he drove at a bend, an inquest heard today.

Arry Petch, 18, a father-of-one, died after it went off the road at Holt Street, Snowdown, in the early hours of July 29 last year.

Assistant coroner Katrina Hepburn concluded that Mr Petch had died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Arry Petch (3366666)
Arry Petch (3366666)

Katrina Hepburn, assistant coroner for central and south east Kent, said: "This was the tragic case of an 18-year-old man who was fit as well, who was in a relationship and with a daughter.

"These are extremely sad circumstances concerning the loss of someone so young."

The inquest heard that Mr Petch, of Templeside, Temple Ewell, had attended 50th birthday party at Tilmanstone Colliery Sports and Welfare Club on the evening of Saturday, July 28, 2018.

He had left the party and dropped in to check on his partner and daughter and have a sandwich.

He then left again, driving his father, James Petch and a friend, T.J. Lewis.

The car had been registered to James Petch but had been drinking so his son, although just having provisional licence, took the wheel.

The trio were out into the morning of Sunday, July 29, and the crash happened at 2.45am on the road alongside the former Snowdown Colliery.

PC Mark Wooding, of the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said that the car had taken a sweeping left hand bend but went out of control, going across the road.

Thecar had smashed into a brick wall and grinded forward alongside it and knocked down as lamp post.

It then rolled and landed back on its four wheels.

General Google street image of Holt Street, Snowdown
General Google street image of Holt Street, Snowdown

Mr Petch was taken to King's College Hospital in London but died there hours later.

Cause of death was classed as severe head and neck injuries.

PC Wooding said, that the exact speed of the car at the time of the crash could not been confirmed.

But, he said, judging by the damage caused, it was certainly above the road's 40mph limit.

However there was still no evidence that it was excessive speed, the inquest at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone heard.

The inquest heard it was not certain why Mr Petch had lost control.

Police said there was no evidence of him eating or drinking while driving.

All three occupants had their mobile phones checked and none hadused themin the run-up to the crash.

Blood tests for toxicology showed that Mr Petch had 45 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, nearly half below the drink-drive limit.

The toxicology tests also revealed that Arry Petch had also recently taken cocaine and cannabis.

Ms Hepburn said it was possible he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and misjudged the bend.

But that could not be proven for sure as the blood samples were taken four hours after the crash.

The inquest heard that the car had no defects that may have contributed to the accident and no other vehicles had been involved.

The weather was also not a factor..

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.


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