A 17-year-old died in front of her father when the locks and handbrake of their car were triggered automatically, sending it flying downhill, an inquest has heard.
Aaliyah Sedley-Jones, known as Lily, was alone waiting in the family car when, ‘for an unknown’ reason, she decided to start the engine - disengaging the automatic handbrake, the BBC reports.
Desperate efforts to open the doors and stop the Citroen rolling away by her father, Benjamin Jones, were thwarted as he watched in horror as it locked due to speed and flipped over.
An inquest held Monday (15/8) heard Lily died in the crash in Spring Hill, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on January 5.
Mr Jones told the hearing he saw his daughter in the driver’s seat and heard her start the engine, the BBC reports.
The coroner was told the doors of a Citroen C4 lock when a speed of 6mph is reached.
Mr Jones 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.
Resuce attempts by 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.
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.
“You genuinely were too perfect for this cruel world and the time where I can be with you again cannot come soon enough.
“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.”