Inquest records verdict of accidental death after two men killed in collision on unclassified road in October 2012.
POOR weather conditions were a significant factor in a crash which killed two young men in October 2012, a coroner has ruled.
Paul Bovey, 24, was the passenger in the blue Peugeot 306 and died almost instantly when the car, driven by Martyn Windsor, 25, lost control and veered down a verge on an unclassified road near North Molton.
Martyn was cut from the car by emergency services but died later that morning in North Devon District Hospital. Both men died from multiple injuries.
The inquest today (Tues) heard evidence Martyn and Paul had consumed four pints each on the evening of October 11, 2012 at the Royal Oak in Withypool.
It is understood they left the premises at around 11.50pm, and were not seen again until the car was discovered at 8.50am the next morning in the flooded River Mole.
The pair were found by the Darley family, who first spotted signs of a disturbance on the unclassified road between North Molton and South Molton at 5.20am.
As it was dark they could not see any vehicles, but when they drove the same journey later that morning their son spotted the car on the riverbank three-and-a-half metres below the road.
Gouges were later found on the road by police, indicating that the car had lost control after coming around a bend, resulting in it careering down the verge and landing on its side.
The inquest heard it had been raining heavily that night and that surface water and the poor weather conditions could have contributed to the crash.
Deputy coroner John Tomalin said: “It is a very sad situation we have here. Two young men such as Martyn Windsor and Paul Bovey who died in circumstances which raise a number of questions in the minds of the family and the emergency services.”
Mr Tomalin recognised that the pair had both been drinking, that the weather had been poor and that Paul was not believed to have been wearing a seatbelt.
He recorded a verdict of accidental death and closing the inquest, reiterated the Highway Code on drink driving and wearing seatbelts.
Paul’s mum Jackie Brealy, who has since set up a charity in his name to fund young drivers in taking their Pass Plus test, paid tribute to him after the inquest.
She said: “Today marks the end of our son Paul’s life, and the beginning of a life sentence with no parole for me, my husband and the rest of our family.
“There isn’t a name for a parent who loses their child as this should never happen and we need to take urgent steps to prevent so many young people from dying on our roads. This has to stop.
“Paul lived life to the full and just before he died was making plans to fulfil his dream to live and work in Australia with native animals. I have set up an organisation in memory of him called PAULY, to try and save other youngsters like him.”