The reasons behind a car crash which killed a 17-year-old girl and injured a family travelling to a party at Hemel Hempstead’s Quasar may never be known, according to an inquest.
Teenager Laura Walden’s vehicle drifted into the path of the Taylor family’s cars as they drove in convoy on the A41 from Aylesbury towards Hemel’s town centre, transporting their son David and his friends to his 11th birthday celebration at the leisure venue.
Mr Taylor and the children were injured and two had to be airlifted to hospital. Mr Taylor is now confined to a wheelchair while his injuries heal.
Miss Walden died at the scene on February 20.
An inquest into her death could not rule the cause of her distraction, with senior coroner Richard Hulett suggesting it was possible she had become ‘paralysed with panic due to inexperience.’
The view was agreed on by forensic collision investigator PC Adrian White, who said that the type of drift would normally be associated with a medical episode or falling asleep at the wheel, but that Miss Walden had been seen sitting upright and with her eyes open at the time of the crash.
Mr Taylor and his family have now thanked those who supported them through the ordeal, which left his son with a broken arm, collapsed lung, fractured eye socket and bleeding to the back of his brain. He had to be put into an induced coma at the side of the road.
He said: “They are not sure how well he will recover but he has been able to go back to school. It’s been quite hard to accept it all because you always ask yourself is there something I could have done to avoid it.
“As a family we would like to thank all the people that helped us and our family and friends.
“If the air ambulance wasn’t there my son would not have survived, there was also a neurosurgeon at the scene who was just passing in his car stopped to help us.”