Families release footage of final moments of two young men who died in car crash while high on drugs

Kyle Careford and his friend Michael Owen were instantly killed in the crash

Tom Brooks-Pollock
Monday 12 October 2015 12:59
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Family release horrific footage of two young men speeding to their deaths

The families of two young men have released footage of the moment they died in a high-speed car crash while high on a cocktail of prescribed and illegal drugs.

Kyle Careford, 20, and his friend Michael Owen, 21, were speeding through the countryside in a red Renault Clio when it smashed into a church wall, killing them instantly.

Michael Owen moments before the fatal crash

The harrowing footage, taken on Mr Owen’s phone, shows the young men laughing and joking as they drive at speeds of up to 90mph. The film suddenly goes quiet before a woman’s voice can be heard, asking the men if they can hear them and saying that an ambulance is on its way.

"I would like all the young people out there to take notice and realise that you are not invincible."

&#13; <p>Kat Owen, mother of Michael Owen</p>&#13;

Following an inquest into their deaths last week, the families have agreed to release the video taken on Michael's phone in the hope of persuading other young people of the dangers of drug-driving and speeding.

It happened in the Sussex countryside in the early hours of 12 April on the B2100. The two men, who were from Tunbridge Wells in Kent but were staying in Crowborough, West Sussex at the time, careered off the road at Jarvis Brook.

The inquest, held in Hastings last week, heard how the two friends had both taken a cocktail of prescribed and illegal drugs that have had a severely detrimental effect on Mr Careford's ability to control the car, the Kent Messenger reported.

This was compounded by the fact that Mr Careford did not hold a driving licence and was not insured on the car, which was owned by Mr Owen, the inquest was told. Both men were wearing seatbelts as they sped along the 30mph road before smashing into a wall at St Michael and All Saints church.

The coroner recorded a verdict of death by road traffic collision on both men.

Zac Hemming, Mr Careford's brother, said: "This footage or anything of its kind should never be recorded, let alone watched. However, despite the pain of it being broadcast by the media, we as a family just hope and pray that this will connect with at least one person out there, young or old, so that no-one ever has to experience the unthinkable pain of losing someone so close and dearly loved.

"May we now please let the boys rest in peace?"

Michael Owen

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Owen's mother, Kat, said: "We bring our children up teaching them right from wrong. We guide them and give them our advice and hope they listen, but once they are adults we hope they make the right choices.

"I really don't know why the boys chose to do what they did, but I blame them both for the decisions they made on this night.

"If all this stops one person from making the same mistake, then some good has come from showing this video. I'm hoping it will have an impact on young people and make them see that a bit of fun can have such devastating consequences.

Kyle Careford

"I would like all the young people out there to take notice and realise that you are not invincible and take seriously how precious your lives are to yourselves and others.

"I want young drivers to consider how much devastation it causes to the families and loved ones that are left behind.

"Watching the video was very upsetting, but I'm hoping it can be used in a positive way, by showing young people what could happen to them."

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