Crash tragedy six weeks after driving test

PUBLISHED: 11:03 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 May 2010

A TEENAGER who died when his car crashed into a tree was over the drink drive limit, an inquest heard. Connor Holland, 17, of South Street, Litlington, had been drinking at a party on the night of January 18. After going for a drive with friends, he lost

A TEENAGER who died when his car crashed into a tree was over the drink drive limit, an inquest heard.

Connor Holland, 17, of South Street, Litlington, had been drinking at a party on the night of January 18. After going for a drive with friends, he lost control of his car and crashed into the tree off Litlington Road, Abington Piggotts.

Despite efforts to revive him at the scene, he died in hospital. Tests later revealed he was almost one and a half times the legal drink drive limit.

The hearing heard statements from two of Mr Holland's friends, Peter Hoyle and Ellis Brent, who were passengers in the car when it crashed. The three teenagers had been at a party in Bassingbourn, where they drank beer and watched DVDs. Mr Holland, who had passed his driving test six week previously, offered his friends a lift home in his Renault Clio.

After leaving the party, they drove to a car park in Bassingbourn, where Mr Holland skidded the car around for a few moments, before heading down Brook Road.

In his statement, Peter Hoyle said: "I asked Connor where we were going and he said 'we're going for a drive'."

As they were driving along Litlington Road, Mr Holland attempted to take a left hand bend, but left the road and smashed into the tree.

In a statement read to the inquest, Ellis Brent said: "I always felt Connor was in control, but he was going faster than I would have if I was driving.

"I looked at the speedometer and saw that we were going at 60 or 70 miles per hour, and I realised we were going too fast to get round."

Although his friends managed to drag Mr Holland from the car and administer CPR, it was too late to save his life.

A toxicology report found that the Long Road Sixth Form College student had 113 mg of alcohol in 100ml of his blood. The legal limit is 80mg, and pathologists said the alcohol would have affected his ability to drive.

Pc John Blood, who investigated the crash, said the wet weather was also a factor in his death.

He said: "He was an inexperienced driver, travelling at an inappropriate speed for the conditions."

Coroner David Morris gave a narrative verdict, stating that Mr Holland died of injuries sustained in a crash while driving in wet conditions.

He said: "The loss of a young life is particularly tragic. This is a tragedy for his family and friends.

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