Brentwood: Slap that led to teenage tragedy

A teenager from Brentwood who died and badly injured his brother and two friends in a horror crash was over the drink-drive limit, an inquest heard.

Dale Carlier, 18, of Coram Green, Hutton, died from multiple injuries.

However, before recording a verdict of accidental death, Chelmsford Coroner’s Court was told on Thursday that he would have got a taxi home but had been assaulted at a party in April.

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray was told that Dale, with three passengers in his Ford Fiesta, lost control at up to 60mph in Western Road, Billericay – which has a limit of 30mph – in the early hours of April 21.

He crashed into a set of gates, a brick pillar and part of a garden wall.

Dale, a Chelmsford College student who used to attend Brentwood County High School, was left with fatal injuries and was confirmed dead at Basildon Hospital.

The inquest was told that at the time of the accident he was one-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit, which would have slowed his reaction times and decreased co-ordination.

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His mother Sharon Carlier told the inquest: “The character of Dale was such that, had the altercation not taken place at this party, he would never have got in the car.

“His intention was to get a taxi home. I just want the court to be aware of his state of mind.”

Dale didn’t know the man, in his 30s, who slapped him and left the party some time after the incident.


Essex Police forensic collision investigator Pc Steve Perrett told the inquest that Dale was driving at an estimated speed of 50 to 60mph when he lost control of his car on a tight, right-hand bend.

The car hit a brick entrance pillar and metal gates with the driver’s door taking the impact. Two metres of a boundary wall were also demolished. The car was only prevented from overturning by a utility pole. The impact blew out all the lights in the street and power to homes, and a tree was uprooted.

Pc Perrett said Dale was not wearing a seatbelt but the impact was at such a speed that one would probably not have saved his life.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, said Pc Perrett.

Ms Beasley-Murray told Dale’s family: “It was a tragic accident. It’s clear that he had earlier in the evening been intending not to drive.”