Speeding car hit 104mph before collision in which three teenagers were killed - inquest

Speeding car hit 104mph before collision in which three teenagers were killed - inquest

By Roland Sebestyen | 17/06/2022

Speeding car hit 104mph before collision in which three teenagers were killed - inquest
Mason Hall, Ryan Geddes and Martin Ward

 

THREE friends died after the car they were travelling in crashed after going at 104mph, an inquest heard.

Martin Ward (18), Mason Hall (19) and Ryan Geddes (19) were all pronounced dead at the scene after the Ford Fiesta being driven by Martin crashed at a high speed without braking while more than twice the 40mph limit.

The accident happened in October 27 last year on Kiveton Lane in Todwick, Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

The court heard that Martin, who only had a provisional licence, had taken his mum’s car without her permission and was not insured to drive the vehicle.

And the Doncaster Coroner, Ms Nicola Mundy, concluded his two friends had been unlawfully killed.

According to multiple witnesses’ accounts, the car was travelling fast before it failed to turn for the bend, hit a wall, went up into the air and stopped when it crashed into a tree.

A witness, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said: “We went to the car but it was just total silence.

“We knew they were dead - we just knew.”

The court heard that Martin had not been wearing a seatbelt but it was not clear whether Mason or Ryan had.

Pathologist Dr Levy said the cause of the death for all three men was “traumatic injuries”.

A toxicology report also found cannabis extracts in Martin’s system — but the court heard it may have been there for several days before the accident.

Ryan, a painter and decorator, was the rear seat passenger in the car.

According to his mum, Natalie, he was a really good singer, who did fundraisers, and a talented boxer.

Mason, a roofer, was the front seat passenger in the car.

His mum, Kathryn Conder, described him as “quite a joker”.

Martin’s mum, Sarah Smith, said in a statement read out in court that the white Ford Fiesta they had crashed was hers and she was the only person to be insured to drive it, adding that “no- one else had access or permission [to use it], including Martin”.

Ms Smith said that on the day of the accident, she had got home and gone to sleep in the afternoon.

When she had awoken, the car was missing from the drive.

The eyewitness said: “I was with my friend sometime around 5.30pm and 6pm and we were sitting on a wall on Kiveton Lane.

“As we were sat chatting, my friend mentioned that a car was coming. I then heard a massive screech.

“The car did not turn [for the bend]. It looked like it was going 100mph.”

Another witness said the car had hit a wall and went up in the air before it collided with a tree and came to its stop.

A man who was walking his dog said he had seen the car passing him and then heard “an almighty bang”.

Christian Slater, a forensic investigator, said in his report that while there had been some rain earlier in the day, the weather had been fine and the road dry.

He said the investigation had found that “there was no evidence of braking, whatsoever” before the collision, adding that the Fiesta’s speedometer showed a maximum of 104mph travelling speed before the collision, while the road is in a 40mph zone.

PC Dave Micklethwaite told the court that had Martin lived, he would have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving without insurance and licence.

Ms Mundy ruled that “the threshold of gross negligence was met” in this case so while she confirmed that Martin had died in a road traffic collision, Mason and Ryan had died "as a result of unlawful killing”.