Footballer’s car crash death was an accident

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Man left with serious head injuries after attack in Portsmouth

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THE heroic efforts of passers-by could not save the life of a young footballer who died after losing control of his car on a notorious accident black spot on the A27.

Lawrence Stevens, 21, died from multiple injuries after crashing with an oncoming car on the A27, an inquest at Chichester Magistrates’ Court heard.

Motorists travelling behind him watched in horror as his Peugeot 106 burst into flames.

They heroically tried to douse the blaze with fire extinguishers that they ran to get from the nearby White Swan pub in Arundel.

The tragedy happened as Mr Stevens was driving back home to Jarvis Road, Arundel, from football training with Barnham reserves in Westergate, near Chichester, on February 10, at 9.20pm.

A crash investigator told the inquest there were no defects with his car and he was not breaking the speed limit.

His car went into the opposite lane in a diagonal motion and was hit side-on by 24-year-old Hannah Smith’s Peugeot 206.

She suffered minor bumps and bruises.

Benjamin Rowe and his friends were commended by the coroner for their efforts in trying to save Mr Stevens.

West Sussex coroner Martin Milward recorded a verdict of accidental death.

‘It’s apparent from the evidence that Lawrence’s motor car failed to manage the sweeping right hand bend,’ he said.

‘I conclude Lawrence’s tragic death was accidental.’