Football coach, 19, died when VW hit tree, inquest told

·2-min read
The A4095 and, inset, Oxford Coroner's Court
The A4095 and, inset, Oxford Coroner's Court

A talented footballer died instantly when his VW Polo hit a tree near North Leigh in the early hours.

Tyre marks showed that Jaden Mole applied his brakes around 13 metres before he struck the tree head-on after coming off the A4095 at around 1.15am on October 31 last year.

Police crash investigator Paul Webb told Oxford Coroner’s Court on Wednesday that the 19-year-old, of Harvest Grove, Witney, would have braked around 0.6 seconds before the impact, assuming he was driving at the 50mph speed limit. There was no evidence to suggest that he was speeding.

Senior coroner Darren Salter recorded a narrative conclusion. He said: “I offer my condolences very much to Jaden’s family and friends for this tragic incident.

“At approximately 1.15am on October 31, 2021, Jaden Mole was driving northeast on the A4095 Witney Road at the junction with Common Road, North Leigh, when his car left the road on the near side and collided head-on with a tree causing his death and resulting in a fire.

“Jaden Mole was intoxicated with alcohol and it is possible that the incident was accidental or intentional although it is not clear on the evidence that, if intentional, he intended the outcome to be fatal.”

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

The A4095 at the junction with Common Lane Picture: GOOGLE

The inquest heard Mr Mole had been at a 21st birthday party on the evening of October 30 at North Leigh Football Club.

A friend said he’d got Mr Mole a pint of lager at 10.45pm, when he seemed to be ‘fairly drunk’. He was thought to have got a lift home with other friends around 45 minutes later.

Mr Salter said that there were a series of messages between Mr Mole and his girlfriend. They included one, sent around 25 minutes before the crash, in which he said he ‘can’t live anymore’.

Another driver came across the crashed VW Polo within minutes of the collision. Flames prevented the man from getting closer than 10ft from the car.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

Oxford Coroner's Court file image

One of the police officers who was first on scene tried to use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames but was also unable to get close enough.

A post-mortem showed that Mr Mole, who suffered multiple injuries, died instantly. Analysis of his blood confirmed he was more than twice over the drink drive limit.

In the wake of the youth football coach’s death, Oxford United were among those to pay tribute to the talented Clanfield 85 FC player.

An online fundraising page set up last November has raised more than £14,000.

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