20-year-old who died in crash at Somersham had swerved across the road

Lauren Parker with Rhys Franklin. Lauren Parker with Rhys Franklin.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
10:02 AM

A 20-year-old man was killed almost instantly when his car left a Somersham road and smashed through a wooden fence before coming to rest in a field, an inquest heard.

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Rhys Franklin, 20, of Westbourne Road, Chatteris, was driving to work at 8.40am on October 27 last year when his green Vauxhall Corsa left the B1050 Chatteris Road.

He was discovered a couple of hours later by Barry Parker, father of Rhys’ girlfriend, Lauren. Mr Parker went looking for him after receiving a call from his daughter, who was concerned that Rhys had not returned her calls.

Coroner William Morris said at the inquest in Chatteris last Wednesday: “I find it so sad that someone only aged 20 was killed in such tragic circumstances. I would like to express my condolences to the family.”

Collision investigator Pc Tim Kirkby said there were no drugs or alcohol in Rhys’ body and an examination found his car did not have defects that would have contributed to a crash.

He said Rhys, who had passed his driving test earlier that month, was driving at 65mph, five miles more than the speed limit, when his car swerved to the right side of the road. He tried to correct the swerve but lost control of the car.

It is unclear what caused Rhys to swerve, but an animal running into the road, or a lack of experience were possibilities, the court was told.

Rhys, who was a keen rugby player, spent more than a year at Loughborough University before leaving to work for O2 in Cambridge.

The cause of death was given as a severing of the cervical spinal cord and a skull fracture.

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