Harold Hill crash victim’s death was an accident

A YOUNG man who died following 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 today, heard evidence from Mr Dale’s friends Charlotte and Becky Lawrence who were two of a total four passengers in the car along with Lee.

Lee was the only one who didn’t survive.

Investigating officer, PC Davis, said: “Whilst negotiating a left hand kerb he lost control of the vehicle. Unfortunately the front off-side of the vehicle struck a tree coming to rest on the carriageway.

“There was considerable damage to the vehicle.

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

Most Read

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”.

The road was slippery from mud on the road but Mr Dale was not speeding and 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 unnatural death.

“It was a tragic accident. I express the court’s sympathy to you and I hope you will be able to focus upon the happy positive memories that you have of him.”

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

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 and now I know. I’m happy with the verdict. It’s been very hard.”

Along with his father, Lee Dale left behind his mum Sue, 47, and siblings, Ray, 16, Jo, 18, Kelly, 23, and Dean, 27, and his aunt Kelly Clarkson who was also at the inquest to lend support to her sister and brother-in-law.

See this week’s Romford Recorder for the full report and more from the interview with Lee Dale’s father.

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