Sammy Phillips from Henley aged 19 who died in a car crash on 3 February in Bix was being driven at “insane” speeds an inquest heard this week in Oxford.
The driver of the red BMW was Lewis Moghul, 22 from Whitchurch Hill who also died instantly after they hit trees on the A4130 in Bix at around 11pm. The inquest heard Lewis was more than three times over the legal alcohol limit. The coroner concluded that drink-driving and excess speed caused the crash.
Thames Valley Police said they believed the pair were travelling between 70mph and 100mph (113km/h and 160km/h).
Senior coroner Darren Salter concluded Mr Moghul “failed to stay on his side of the road” while negotiating a slight bend. A “swerve to the left” caused his “loss of control”, as well as a decision to “drive at high speed while intoxicated.”
One motorist, who was driving in the opposite direction, said she noticed the car “driving on her side of the road before swerving” to avoid her.
During the inquest, Justine Morris, Sammy’s mother, read a statement to Oxford Coroner’s Court. She said “Boys like Sammy die on our roads every single day of the year, and the ingredients are too often the same: young men, fast cars and alcohol. As a family, we can only hope that the death of both boys will serve as a reminder to all their young friends, to all those who knew them; you are not invincible. While we would support a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit so that it becomes socially unacceptable to have even one drink when driving, we recognise that no change in the law can eradicate the exuberance of youth. We were all young once. So to all young men, I would simply say this: ‘Think of your Mum’. “Before you put your foot down, before you have a drink and think it’s OK to get behind the wheel, think of your Mum standing where I am now, and imagine how utterly heartbroken she’d be.”
Sgt James Surman, of Thames Valley Police, said: “I can only hope this serves as a reminder to all young drivers of the risks involved in drink driving. It significantly impairs people’s driving ability. That, coupled with the speed that was involved in this case, needs to serve as a warning. Both Lewis and Sammy have lost their lives far too young.”