Friends of joyrider warned of dangers

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The Independent Online
FRIENDS OF eight youngsters who were crushed in a joyriding crash described yesterday how they had begged them not to go on the tragic outing.

Graham Bellamy, 14, borrowed his parents' Ford Sierra and took seven friends on a 100-mile trip from Coventry, in the West Midlands, to Skegness in Lincolnshire. He died when the car, pursued by police, collided head- on with a lorry. One of the back-seat passengers, William Loudon, 13, died later in hospital.

Caroline Hughes, 14, from Coventry, said she tried to persuade her boyfriend, Sean Gillespie, 13, who was injured in the crash, from joining the trip. "Sean just would not listen," she said. "I do not know what they were doing or why. It must have seemed like some sort of adventure to them."

Others described how Graham drove from house to house on Saturday night trying to persuade boys to jump in the car. One boy, who did not want to be named, said he had told him he might get into trouble with the police, but that Graham had replied: "Don't worry, that won't happen to me."

The accident happened just before 6am on Sunday, on the A16 in Sibsey. Graham's passengers, including his brother Gary Bellamy, 11, were taken to hospital. Two were still in intensive care last night at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

Shane Kavanagh, 16, was in a "very poorly" condition after surgery lasting four and a half hour on his head, chest and leg. The other boys are Sean Swift, 13, Joe Byrne, 12, and Liam Shield, 13, all from the Radford area of Coventry.

An independent inquiry has been opened. The Sierra had been pursued by a patrol car for about five miles before the accident.

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