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Brentwood: Inexperience may have caused death of driver

PUBLISHED: 17:45 01 November 2012

Bob Hyde, who died in a road crash on February 17

Bob Hyde, who died in a road crash on February 17

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»A young man who died in a car accident in Hutton had only bought the vehicle that day, an inquest heard.

Robert Hyde, known as Bob, 21, had only been driving his car for 30 minutes before the crash in Wash Road on February 17.

An inquest in Chelmsford heard that Robert had bought the car earlier that day and was taking it for a drive with a friend, who was driving behind him, when the accident happened at about 10.30pm.

Swerved

Investigators said it was not clear why Bob, of Woodland Avenue, Hutton, appeared to have swerved in the road, and the car functioned well, but believe he may have lost control of it or been unfamiliar with the controls.

Pc Mark Pearce told the inquest, though it was dark, there was good street lighting and added: “There was no evidence to say why he would have crashed.

“The evidence suggests that he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, and as a result he was thrown around the vehicle. Had he been wearing it, it would have dramatically increased his chances of survival.”

Sgt Richard Raker said: “He had only purchased the car that day and it is likely that he was unfamiliar with the controls and characteristics.”

He added, after looking at CCTV footage of the road, that: “Both vehicles were substantially faster than the other vehicles on the road but I couldn’t tell how fast.”

He added that there was a crest in the road and, as the car went over it, it could have felt lighter. Bob may have oversteered before losing control and hitting the bridge, he said.

His mother Claire Hyde told the inquest: “I don’t know why it happened. He’s young and was all excited and had only been in the car for half an hour. He could have looked down or put the music on.”

Assistant deputy coroner for Essex and Thurrock, Tina Harrington, said: “As Robert was driving along he was travelling at a speed, approached the bridge and began to lose control of the vehicle.

“There’s no evidence to suggest why but it’s possible that as he came over the crest that the steering became momentarily light.

“He, being a relatively new driver, was unfamiliar with the controls and oversteered.

“I do find that on the balance of probability that he lost control because he was an inexperienced driver.”

She recorded a verdict of death by an accident, and as a result of multiple injuries.

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