Father tells inquest of moment car his daughter, 17, was killed when a car handbrake engaged

UK News


Father tells inquest of horrific moment he desperately tried to wrench open family car door as it rolled down the hill with his daughter, 17, inside after ‘the handbrake disengaged’ – before it flipped and crushed her to death

  • Aaliyah Sedley-Jones, 17, died in front of her dad in January, an inquest heard
  • The rolling vehicle hit a grass verge, a wall and a lamppost before flipping over
  • Coroner ruled the death as an ‘accident’ and no faults were found on the vehicle 
  • Citroen C4 doors lock automatically when a speed of 6mph is reached 

A father has told of the horrific moment he tried to wrench open the family car door as it rolled down a hill with his 17-year-old daughter inside after ‘the handbrake disengaged’, before it flipped and crushed her to death.

Aaliyah Sedley-Jones, known as Lily, died in front of her father when the locks and handbrake of their car were triggered automatically – sending it flying downhill. 

She was sat alone waiting in the family vehicle when ‘for an unknown’ reason she decided to start the engine – disengaging the automatic handbrake.

Desperate efforts by her father to open the doors and stop the silver Citroen C4 Picasso rolling down the 11.6% gradient hill were thwarted as he watched in horror as it locked automatically due to its speed.

An inquest held yesterday heard Lily died in the crash in Spring Hill, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on 5 January after the car flipped.

Aaliyah Sedley-Jones, known as Lily, was sat alone waiting in the family vehicle when 'for an unknown' reason she decided to start the engine - disengaging the automatic handbrake - and the car rolled down the hill and flipped, crushing her to death

Aaliyah Sedley-Jones, known as Lily, was sat alone waiting in the family vehicle when ‘for an unknown’ reason she decided to start the engine – disengaging the automatic handbrake – and the car rolled down the hill and flipped, crushing her to death

Her dad Benjamin Jones told the hearing he saw his daughter in the driver’s seat and heard her start the engine, the BBC reported.

The coroner was told the doors of a Citroen C4 lock when a speed of 6mph is reached.

He told the inquest: ‘I couldn’t hold on to it any longer.

‘I have no idea why Lily got into the driver’s seat and tried to drive the car.’

The rolling vehicle hit a grass verge, a wall and a lamppost before flipping over.

Desperate rescue efforts from neighbours, family members and paramedics proved unsuccessful and Lily died at the scene shortly before 9pm.

Police told the inquest Lily had not driven the car before and held only a provisional licence, the BBC reported.

No faults were found on the vehicle and coroner Maria Voisin ruled the death an ‘accident.’

The cause of death was given as cerebral injuries.

An inquest held yesterday heard Lily died in the crash in Spring Hill, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on 5 January after the locks and handbrakes were triggered automatically when the car reached a speed of more than 6mph

An inquest held yesterday heard Lily died in the crash in Spring Hill, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on 5 January after the locks and handbrakes were triggered automatically when the car reached a speed of more than 6mph

Paying tribute at the time of her death, Lily’s mother said in a statement: ‘Lily you were taken just as your life was beginning and you were so excited for everything you had to look forward to.

‘You made the most of every single day of your life.

‘You were my best friend, a breath of fresh air and you lit up any and every room you walked into.

‘You were so scared of losing anyone you loved and the only comfort I have is that at least now you will never have to suffer the pain everyone that knows you is feeling right now.

She continued by saying her daughter was ‘too perfect for this cruel world’ and the time where she could be with her again could not come soon enough.

Her mother added: ‘Your four brothers and all of your family and friends will keep your memory alive as long as we all live.

‘We will never stop talking about you as you were the most caring, considerate, loving, funny, most beautiful girl and the time we had with you we will cherish forever.

‘Taken from us at the worst age of only 17 in a sudden tragic accident that will forever haunt us.

‘We were proud of you every moment of every day and we love you more than you could ever imagine my beautiful Lily.’

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