Death of young Harold Hill man a ‘tragic accident’

A YOUNG man who was killed by a car crash died as the result of an accident, an inquest has decided.

Lee Dale, 22, of Bideford Close, Harold Hill, died in Queen’s Hospital in the early hours of January 23, 2008 after crashing his silver Volkswagen Golf the night before in Dark Lane, Warley.

The inquest, held in Chelmsford, heard evidence from Mr Dale’s friends Charlotte and Becky Lawrence, who were two of four passengers in the car along with Lee.

Lee was the only one not to survive.

Investigating officer, PC Davis, said: “He lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. There was considerable damage to the vehicle.

“Sadly Mr Dale died as a result of the injuries he sustained.”

PC Davis said the rear off-side tyre was “severely under-inflated” because of a puncture from a nail but it was “unlikely to have caused the loss of control”, though “it wouldn’t have helped”.

Most Read

The road was slippery from mud on the road but Mr Dale was not speeding – he was driving within the 60mph limit – and was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the inquest heard.

Recording an accidental verdict, Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said: “This was a sudden, unexpected death.

“It was a tragic accident. I express the court’s sympathy.”

Dr Alsanjari, the pathologist who carried out Mr Dale’s post mortem, found he died of multiple injuries.

Outside the inquest, Mr Dale’s father, Tony, spoke of his relief on finally getting closure more than two years after his son’s terrible and tragic death.

Mr Dale, 55, said: “It’s a bit of a relief now. We’ve got a bit of closure in that it wasn’t his fault. That’s all I wanted to hear – that it wasn’t his fault or anyone else’s. It’s been very hard.”

His “fun-loving boy” also left behind his mother Sue, 47, and siblings, Ray, 16, Jo, 18, Kelly, 23, and Dean, 27.

Recalling the night of the tragedy Mr Dale said: “Just 45 minutes after he left the house I got a call saying that Lee had broken his arm and was in hospital. His mum and I drove straight there.

“They brought him out on a stretcher from the ambulance and he said ‘I’m fine I can just feel a bit of pain in my chest’.That was the last I saw of him.”

He added: “I’ve never ever been down that road and I never ever will.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter