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Teenage driver dies after car hits lamppost

POLICE have appealed for witnesses to a road crash which claimed the life of a young driver. His car smashed into a lamppost in the centre of Rainham. No other vehicles were involved.

The 19-year-old victim is believed to have been thrown out of the car when it hit the lamppost and ploughed into railings. The driver, who was alone in the car, has not so far been named but police have confirmed he came from the Barming area of Maidstone.

The accident happened at the junction of the A2 and Holding Street at 12.10am on Saturday. Local people say is a notorious accident blackspot.

Insp Geoff Wood said: "At the moment we do not know what went on that night. We are still investigating the circumstances."

The accident happened ess than 15 minutes after police had received reports that the Granada was being driven erratically in the Ambley Road area of the Gillingham Business Park. Officers in a patrol car went looking for the car and spotted it about 10 minutes later. But it drove off out of sight and within five minutes had crashed.

An ambulance took the victim to hospital but he died there at about 3am.

Carol Barrott, whose Carpetline carpet shop is close to the accident scene, said: "There have been several accidents in this area and it seems to have got worse since they put in the roundabout at the junction. I don't know what happened in this case but other cars go too fast and some don't realise it's a roundabout and go straight across. A new kerb has also been created, which juts out and drivers don't seem to be able to see it at night."

Another trader, who did not want to be named, said: "Several times car hub caps have come off when wheels have hit the pavement. There was another accident recently, where an elderly man came off his moped."

Police are appealing for witnesses to the fatal crash. Anyone with information should telephone PC Ian Mynott on 01634 827055.

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