The quartet, aged 19 and 20, all died in the Wiltshire crash after a night out (Picture: PA)
A young drink driver could have been going 120mph when he lost control and smashed into a Wiltshire house, killing himself and three friends, an inquest heard on Tuesday.
Jordan Rawlings, 20, was speeding along the A4 in Derry Hill last year when his car left the road and burst into flames.
Ryan Nelson, 20, Corey Owen, 19, and Matthew Parke, 19, were all also killed after a night out together, despite desperate attempts by other road users to save them.
Accident investigators showed Wiltshire Coroner’s Court Snapchat footage sent by the men just before the smash, which helped determine where they were in the car and how fast they were going.
The court also heard various witness accounts of the August 16 incident – including the desperate attempts by a passing lorry and taxi driver and others to help the quartet.
They described hearing screams and shouts from the burning car but were forced back because of the extreme heat.
One of the taxi passengers described how he tried to get the car window open, but he burned his hand trying to save them, and said the car rubber had melted.
Jordan Rawlings may have been driving at 120mph when he crashed, police said (Picture: PA)
Matthew Parke ‘was a very popular young man – confident, popular, strong-willed, and determined’, his family said (Picture: PA)
Ryan Nelson, like Matthew, died from smoke inhalation after the VW Polo burst into flames (Picture: PA)
Corey Owen died from a head injury in the crash (Picture: PA)
The hearing into the deaths of Ryan, Corey, and Matthew – all from Calne – was also told that Jordan was over the legal alcohol limit. An inquest into the driver’s death will be held next week.
Police accident investigator Stephen Spenner told the court that Jordan left the Pewsham Roundabout at 80mph and could have been travelling at 120 mph before crashing.
The wheel of the two-door VW Polo was ripped off as the car burst through a hedge and into the Derry Hill house.
In a statement read to the court, Margaret Carnegie, who lives in the property, said she was woken by a loud bang which shook her home.
Floral tributes were left at the scene of the crash, which a police notice placed under a 40mph speed limit sign said occurred at around 3am.
An inquest into driver Jordan’s death is due to take place next week (Picture: PA)
Floral tributes were left at tge crash site on the A4 near Derry Hill, Calne (Picture: PA)
Scorched grass and boarded up windows could be seen on the property (Picture: PA)
Wiltshire and Swindon coroner Ian Singleton ruled out unlawful killing as the reason for their deaths, instead reaching a conclusion of death as a result of a road traffic collision.
He said that although most of the criteria to reach a verdict of unlawful killing were met, Mr Singleton added that he felt he couldn’t say the driver’s actions were ‘exceptionally bad’ and there was insufficient evidence to reach such a conclusion.
The coroner clarified that he did not ‘wish to excuse’ Jordan Rawlings – due to the high speeds he was travelling at while simultaneously being over the legal drinking limit – and did not believe a conclusion of death by ‘accident’ was fair.
His road traffic collision conclusion was arrived at in conjunction with a narrative explaining the events leading up to the deaths.
Mr Singleton put down a medical cause of death for Ryan and Matthew as suffocation due to fumes and hot air inhalation due to vehicle fire.
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The medical cause of death for Corey was confirmed as a head injury.
He added: ‘No-one can fail to understand the grief and anguish felt by families and friends of these three men.’
A statement from Corey’s mother Tessa read: ‘The bond we shared was incredibly close. He was a sensible, reliable young man mature beyond his years.
‘The night he died shouldn’t have been in Wiltshire. He was due to go on a weekend away but couldn’t get time off.
‘He was a person brothers and sisters looked up to to do right thing.’
A statement on behalf of Matthew Parke’s family read: ‘He was never one to be happy in his own company.
‘As he got older, he needed to be in company and had people around him.’
They continued: ‘He did have an attitude – he chose to work hard and play hard.
‘He was a very popular young man – confident, popular, strong-willed, and determined.
‘He will be so missed from those who knew him.’
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