Coroner’s court hears horrific firsthand accounts of A4 crash


An investigation into the deaths of three of the Derry Hill crash victims learned that they were still alive when their car left the A4 and caught fire.

Wiltshire Coroner’s Court was informed of the desperate attempts by a passing truck driver, taxi driver and his passengers to help the young men.

They described hearing screams and screams coming from the burning car, but were forced to back up due to the extreme heat.

One of the cab passengers, Alex Dean, described how he tried to open the car window, but the rubber had melted and he burned his hand trying to save them.

Read the taxi driver’s account here

In statements read to court, Margaret Carnegie, who lives in the Derry Hill home the car crashed into, said she was awakened by a loud bang that rocked the house. She said the fire was small at first and screams could be heard from the car.

“They were screaming ‘get me out. Help. Get us out.’

Ryan Nelson, Corey Owen, Matthew Parke, all of Calne, died in the crash last August after a night out.

The investigation found that the car could have been driven at 120 mph before the crash and that the driver, Jordan Rawlings, also deceased, was over the legal alcohol limit.

Crash investigators showed the court Snapchat footage sent by the young men just before the crash, used by investigators to determine where they were in the car and how fast they were traveling.

Police crash investigator Stephen Spenner told court they left Pewsham roundabout at 80 mph and could have traveled at 120 mph before crashing.

The wheel of the two-door VW Polo was torn off when the car tore the hedge at the Derry Hill house.

The investigation into the death of driver Jordan Rawlings is scheduled to take place next week.

The hearing continues.


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