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Coroner urges learner drivers to read about 82mph drink-drive crash which killed four

Caelan Megson, 21, was driving the car as it crashed in Leeds. (SWNS)

A coroner has urged learner drivers to read the details of a “tragic” drink-driving crash in which four people were killed.

Caelan “Meggy” Megson, 21, ploughed his red Seat Leon into an Uber while on the way to McDonald's after leaving a party in Leeds, West Yorkshire, last year with several people in his car.

Megson, Brandon Frew, 19, Declan Grove, 19, and Matty Walshaw, 18, all died in the “calamitous” tragedy - while two girls, aged 16 and 17, were taken to hospital but survived.

During an inquest at Wakefield Coroner's Court, senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin said he hoped the case would deter other young drivers from making the same mistakes.

“I would ask that every driving instructor in this area cuts out the media coverage in the papers reporting this terrible car accident and make their students read it and discuss it with them so they understand the responsibility that goes with having a driving licence,” McLoughlin said.

Friends and family of the dead youths lay flowers at the site of the crash. (SWNS)

“I recall replica events in previous hearings where multiple young people die in such needless circumstances.

“We need to find ways to stop the same thing happening in this area to press the message home.

“The message seems to be in relation to young people who perhaps don't have the foresight as they are enjoying life and having fun.

“Part of the maturity and responsibility of being in a motor car is understanding what might happen and the need, even though it may sound boring, to be sensible.

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Caelan was two-and-a-half-times over the drink-drive limit and had taken cocaine in the hours before the fatal crash in Horsforth near Leeds, West Yorks.

Paramedics were confronted with a “high speed impact” road traffic collision and described that both vehicles had sustained an “incredible amount” of damage along the 40mph road.

Caelan and front-seat passenger Brandon, both wearing seatbelts, were immediately pronounced dead but attempts were made to revive the other two lads which proved unsuccessful.

An inquest heard that Caelan, who passed his test in March 2017, was told to slow down by the two girls before smashing head-on into the taxi while attempting to negotiate a bend at around 2.45am.

Declan Grove, 19, was one of the passengers in the car. (SWNS)
The group were heading to a McDonald's and aiming to go on to the house of Brandon Frew (pictured) in Leeds when the accident happened. (SWNS)

Taxi driver Abid Lodhi, was on his way home to Bradford after dropping off his last customer at the time of the crash before coming round a blind corner moments before impact.

Mr Lodhi, who had been working in the local Leeds area since 2002 and held a licence with Leeds City Council, has still not returned to work and attended today's inquest walking with crutches.

Speaking through an interpretor, he told an inquest: “It was too close. I didn't have a chance. I could not do anything. I had no time to brake.”

Father-of-three Mr Lodhi was taken by ambulance to hospital and suffered broken ribs, a broken left hand, broken knee, pelvis and hip.

The inquest heard that the group of four friends had gathered at Brandon's family home in Leeds, West Yorks., the night before the fatal crash to have a few drinks

Plasterer Caelan downed six bottles of desperados, a small bottle of Absolute Vodka and two pints from a keg while at Brandon's house and one point was seen dancing, shouting and had taken his top off, an inquest heard.

In a read statement, the boy's friend Kyle Thornton said he had been at Brandon Frew's house hours before the fatal crash.

He added: "Caelan was drunk. He was dancing about, shouting and he had taken his top off. I had known him for years and I recognised him as being drunk."

Matt Walshaw, 18, also died in the horrific collision. (SWNS)

The inquest heard that just before 11.30pm that night Mr Thornton felt sick and fell asleep in a bedroom at Brandon Frew's house.

The group left in Caelan's car for a party at another house in Leeds, West Yorks., attended by around 50 people where they met the two girls, Polly Armistead and her cousin Robyn Hoban.

The group of six then crammed into Caelan's car before driving towards McDonald's on the A6120 on the Leeds outer ring road.

Giving evidence, a teary-eyed Polly Armistead, who was a rear passenger in the car behind the driver, said the plan was to go to McDonald's to grab some food before going back to Brandon's house.

She told an inquest: “We just set off along the road and then the car just started to speed up. Me and Robyn Hoban told him to slow down.

She recalled shouting at Caelan: “Meggy slow down. I could sense he was trying to slow down.”

Polly was taken to hospital and suffered several fractured ribs, a broken coccyx, bruised lungs and a fractured sternum, but told an inquest that wearing a seatbelt saved her life.