Crash boy `sought spectacular death'

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A SIXTH-FORM pupil spoke of dying "in a spectacular way" 24 hours before he crashed his car into a gatepost at his public school while being tailed by a police car.

Seventeen-year-old Julian Elwell made the remark to a female friend at Malvern College, an inquest at Kidderminster, Hereford and Worcester, was told yesterday.

Sixth-former Emma Browning said Julian, who died of multiple injuries when his Fiat Tipo burst into flames outside the school last October, made the comment at her house block.

She told the hearing that Julian, of Virginia Water, Surrey, had been miserable in the week before the tragedy and had complained about the pressures of school work.

She said he told her: "If I am going to die, I will die in a spectacular way." But she added that it was not unusual for him to make flippant remarks "just to make you blink".

Fellow sixth-former Hannah Rose said the teenager, who had drunk three pints of beer and two measures of spirits before the crash, told her: "There's no point to anything any more."

His best friend at the school, Ed McMaster, said Julian, a pupil at Malvern College for more than four years, was "co-ordinated and could speak properly" after drinking in a room at the college and a pub and a wine bar in Malvern on the day of the tragedy.

The inquest heard Julian had a blood alcohol level of 104mg, slightly above the legal limit of 80mg. The pathologist, Dr Paul Dunne, said the alcohol level would have resulted in mild impairment of judgement and confirmed the teenager had died from shock and haemorrhage due to multiple injuries.

The inquest was told that Julian was spotted by a police patrol car as he sat at the wheel of his car on double yellow lines outside a pub in the centre of Malvern. The police car was about 200 yards behind his vehicle when it crashed.

The hearing continues today.