Musical fun then death in road crash

CRASH victim Darryl Harrington was seen enjoying his music just moments before his car ploughed into a tree and burst into flames.The 24-year-old was killed instantly when his Peugeot 205 veered off a quiet country road in Culpho at around 6pm on December 27.

CRASH victim Darryl Harrington was seen enjoying his music just moments before his car ploughed into a tree and burst into flames.

The 24-year-old was killed instantly when his Peugeot 205 veered off a quiet country road in Culpho at around 6pm on December 27.

The silver car burst into flames following the impact and was left barely recognisable. The interior was completely burnt out and the front of the car was crushed.

The inquest into his death, held at Ipswich yesterday, heard that Mr Harrington was thought to have been "running late" when the accident happened.

He was due to pick up his girlfriend, Kimberley Todd, and her mother, Noreen, but never arrived. It was at around 7pm that they heard about an accident.

In a written statement, bus driver John Austin said a car overtook him at a speed of around 40 to 50 miles per hour just before the accident.

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He said: "I was aware of a silver Peugeot overtaking me and there was plenty of room. The manoeuvre seemed perfectly normal and it was a normal place to overtake.

"I did see the driver move his head as if in time to music."

He said that he felt that Mr Harrington would have been "lucky" to get round the corner at the speed he was travelling and said he "didn't see any brake lights".

Mr Austin added he "wasn't surprised" to see that the car had left the road following the bend but said he was "surprised not to see the driver standing beside it".

The bus driver, who stopped and called the emergency services, recalled seeing Mr Harrington "slumped" and unconscious in the drivers' seat with flames coming from the engine.

Hilary Bisset was also overtaken by the Peugeot car on the road on the day in question and also stopped at the scene. Both drivers tried to open the car door but it was jammed shut.

A ring and a gold chain, with the initials DH on it, were used to identify Mr Harrington by his girlfriend Kimberley Todd.

Mr Harrington suffered an abdominal haemorrhage and deep lacerations to his liver. No mechanical faults were discovered in his K-reg car.

In recording a verdict of accidental death, deputy coroner Roger Stewart said: "It does seem he was driving at a speed which was not grossly excessive. But it was at a speed which other motorists considered inconsistent with being able to get around the bend safely.

"Unfortunately, I think this was an error of judgement. It is a tragic loss of this young man's life."

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