Devon teenager, 17, died after car crashed into trees

Archie George Harris
-Credit: (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

An inquest has opened into the death of a North Devon teenager who tragically died after his car left the road and collided with trees. Archie Harris passed away following the crash on the A3072 at Brandis Corner, Bradford, in Holsworthy on May 26, 2024, at 4.35pm.

During the short inquest hearing at Exeter Coroner's Court, it was confirmed the 17-year-old was born in Barnstaple, lived in Holsworthy and was a builder.

Alison Longhorn, area coroner for Exeter and Great Devon, said: "The circumstances are that while driving, Archie's motor vehicle left the carriageway and collided with trees. He sadly passed away at the scene. There are no suspicious circumstances.

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"On the present evidence, the medical cause of death has been ascertained as multiple injuries."

The inquest was adjourned for a full hearing to take place on a yet to be confirmed date. Earlier this week, police released a tribute made by Archie's death following his death.

They said: “Cherished memories of our beautiful baby boy. Always in our hearts, Archie George Harris.”

The scene of the crash has been previously been discussed by members of Torridge Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC), one of eight HATOC committees made up of representatives from Devon County Council and each of Devon’s District Councils.

At the meeting of the committee in October 2019 it was agreed to convene a special meeting of the committee to consider safety issues at Brandis Corner relating to poor visibility which had led to incidents and near misses.

A report of Meg Booth, chief officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste, dated March 2020, concluded: "Safety at this junction has been raised as an issue by local members, who have asked for are port on options. Due to the physical layout of the junction, particularly the proximity of properties, it is not feasible to change the alignment.

"Therefore, there is no easy solution, and there have been attempts to solve the problem in the past. The proposals outlined present a practical approach."

The proposed options were to clean the direction signs and ensure that suitable forward visibility of the signs is maintained to make the junction more visible, and to apply light coloured High Friction Surfacing (HFS) on both approaches of the A3072 to make drivers more aware that they are approaching a junction and aid braking.

The issue was due to be debated at a meeting on March 24, 2020, but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.