Chatteris man suffered “catastrophic” injuries in car crash

Lauren Parker with Rhys Franklin. Lauren Parker with Rhys Franklin.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
5:19 PM

A 20-year-old man was killed almost instantly when his car left the road and smashed through a wooden fence before coming to rest in a field, an inquest has found.

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Rhys Franklin.Rhys Franklin.

Rhys Franklin, 20, of Westbourne Road, Chatteris, was driving to work at 8.40am on October 27 2013 when his green Vauxhall Corsa went off the B1050 Chatteris Road at Somersham.

As the car hit the wooden fence, a rail pierced his windscreen, causing catastrophic injuries to Franklin’s head and neck.

Cause of death was a transection (severing) of the cervical spinal chord and a skull fracture.

He was discovered a couple of hours later by his girlfriend Lauren Parker’s father Barry.

Mr Parker went looking for him after receiving a call from his daughter, who was concerned that Franklin had not returned her calls.

Coroner William Morris said: “I find it so sad that someone only aged 20 was killed in such tragic circumstances. I would like to express my condolences to the family.”

Collision Investigator Tim Kirkby said there were no drugs or alcohol in Franklin’s body and an examination found his car did not have defects which would have contributed to a crash.

He said Franklin, who had passed his driving test earlier that month, was driving at 65mph, five miles more than the speed limit, when his car swerved into the right side of the road.

He tried to steer to the left to correct it but lost control of the car and left the road.

It is unclear what caused Franklin to swerve, but an animal running into the road, a lack of attention and inexperience were all given as possibilities.

Franklin was chairman of the Peterborough Youth Council during 2011 and a former member of the Air Training Corps’ Ortons 51 Squadron, reaching the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer.

He played rugby and went to Kenya to help build a school for underprivileged children.

Franklin spent more than a year at Loughborough University before leaving to work for O2 in Cambridge.

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