Mystery of why Rob and Amy died
No clear reason why teenager’s car left the road ‘They made such a good couple’
email@example.com The reason why a young woman lost control of her car in a crash that killed her and her boyfriend remains unexplained.
Amy Clark, 17, who had only passed her driving test nine days earlier, had steered left while negotiating a right-hand bend on the A20 Maidstone Road at Charing, an inquest heard yesterday (Wednesday).
Police giving evidence believed she may have encountered a distraction such as an animal in the road that she was trying to avoid, but that could not be confirmed.
Miss Clark, of Highfield Road, Willesborough, and her boyfriend, Rob Wiltshire, 20, of Payden Street, Maidstone, died in the accident on the Maidstonebound carriageway near Charing Crematorium at about 10pm on December 29.
The car had hit a tree after going down a bank.
Witness Sarah Austin was a passenger in a car when she saw the victims’ Ford Fiesta down the bank with its rear wheels raised. She called for emergency services at 9.59pm.
Miss Austin, of Charing, rushed to the scene and saw the passenger leaning against the door but was afraid to open it in case she caused more injury.
Emergency services arrived and Miss Clark was found to be dead. Mr Wiltshire was unconscious. Attempts to resuscitate him failed and both died at the scene.
PC David Kirk said the car had been examined and had no contributory defects. It had been raining earlier that night.
He said both victims had been wearing their seat belts. The car had gone down a bank with its front embedded in soft ground.
PC Kirk said investigators sug- gested that the car had rotated anti-clockwise before sliding down the bank. He did not suspect high speed was involved and Miss Clark’s mobile phone had not been used at the time.
It was believed Miss Clark had negotiated the right-hand bend but steered left, suggesting she was trying to correct the course of the car.
The area is known to have a large rabbit warren and a dead rabbit had been found in the road, but it was not confirmed that Miss Clark had been trying to avoid the animal.
The inquest heard from Miss Clark’s mother, Debbie Helmer, that her daughter had passed her driving test nine days earlier but she was a careful driver.
Pathologist Brigid Maguire said Miss Clark had died from multiple injuries and had no alcohol or drugs in her system. Mr Wiltshire died from head injuries.
The inquest heard that the cou- ple had last been seen on CCTV leaving Sainsbury’s at 9.50pm. There had been no witnesses to the accident.
Coroner Rachel Redman recorded a verdict of accidental death on both victims.
She said: “We are not sure as to why this happened as there are no witnesses.
“If it is any comfort to the families, Amy did not suffer and Robert had lost consciousness.
“This is a tragic accidental death, a tragic case involving two very young people.”
Mrs Redman commended the bravery of Miss Austin who had raised the alarm.
After the hearing, both victims’ families said they wanted to thank Miss Austin for her efforts.
Miss Clark was a former pupil at Highworth Grammar School and at the time of her death was an engineering student at Canterbury College.
Mr Wiltshire was a former pupil at Swadelands School, Lenham, and had just qualified as an electrical engineer.