Police in the Southern England county of East Sussex have released a video showing the last moments before a car traveling more than 90 mph slammed into a church wall.
Driver Kyle Careford, 20, and his friend Michael Owen, 21, were in the red Renault Clio that was speeding through the town of Crowborough. Careford, holding a camera phone, shakily points it toward the road before putting it on Owen, who was driving, then on himself, and then the speedometer, which shows in glowing orange just how fast the car, owned by Careford, was traveling.
Owen’s mother said she OK’d the release of the video as a warning: “If all this stops one person from making the same mistake, then some good has come from showing this video. I’m hoping it will have an impact on young people and make them see that a bit of fun can have such devastating consequences.”
“Slow down, slow down, slow down,” Careford tells Owen a few times over the course of the brief video.
The crash occurred on April 12, but a coroner’s inquest for the two was held October 6 and the video was uploaded to the Sussex Police YouTube channel today. It’s not gory but it is expectedly grim.
At the inquest, friends of the two said they had mixed prescription and illegal drugs and would have been far from able to drive a car safely. While both were wearing seatbelts, they died shortly after impact.
According to a statement released by police, the two tore a path through the town on their drive:
“Witnesses reported seeing the car at various times in the hours leading up to the crash. A lorry driver reported how he had been stopped by the car that had randomly stopped in the carriageway and then sped off as he tried to manoeuvre around it; a taxi driver said that he had been forced off the carriageway by a speeding red car on the wrong side of the road and a woman had witnessed the car doing ‘doughnuts’ in a Crowborough car park.”
Zac Hemming, Careford’s brother, said: “This footage or anything of its kind should never be recorded, let alone watched. However, despite the pain of it being broadcast by the media, we as a family just hope and pray that this will connect with at least one person out there, young or old, so that no-one ever has to experience the unthinkable pain of losing someone so close and dearly loved.”
Owen’s ex-partner, Lauren Humble, said, “The legacy that Michael has left is our beautiful daughter Lily-Rose who is 5-years-old, she will have to live with the impact of this horrific situation forever.”
Careford’s phone was found under a tree near the crash site.