THE cause of a car crash that killed a teenager remains unknown, an inquest has heard.

Reece Harnetty, 19, died when his Mini Clubman burst into flames after crashing into the rear of a parked lorry in a layby in Suffolk.

An inquest at Suffolk Coroners’ Court in Ipswich was told Reece, of Ilmington Drive, Basildon had turned sharply from the outside lane into the layby at Creeting St Mary, near Needham Market on January 20.

Four fire crews were called to the scene where, Mr Harnetty, who was trapped inside the blazing wreckage was later pronounced dead.

A monitoring device confirmed that the vehicle was travelling at 85mph and a post mortem examination confirmed Mr Harnetty died as a result of extensive third degree burns and as a result of a road traffic collision.

The Toxicology tests ruled out the presence of alcohol or drugs and forensic accident investigator PC Jeff Cribb said there were no defects identified with the car, although a full examination wasn’t possible because of the fire damage. No faults were found with the road surface either.

Witness Dan Braun was travelling past just feet away when the crash occurred. He described how the Mini hadn’t slowed or changed course as it turned sharply towards the lorry. He stopped to call emergency services by which time they were both engulfed flames.

Mr Braun said: “It became an inferno with flames coming out the sides of the lorry.”

There was no evidence that Mr Harnetty was using his phone at the time of the accident although checks had shown he had used it shortly before the crash.

It is believed he was upset following relationship problems with a girl he had met online. The inquest heard that in phone calls prior to the accident, Reece refused to say where he was but was heard sobbing as he said: “didn’t want to be here anymore” and ending his last call without saying goodbye to the female, Alicia Watts.

In a statement Ms Watts said she had tried to call Mr Harnetty back but all her calls went straight to voicemail. Two days before the accident, Mr Harnetty had left a teddy bear and a love note on her doorstep.

His mother Wendy Harnetty suggested her son, who had only passed his test last May, could have mistaken the layby for the inside lane on the road as he wasn’t a regular on that route. Whilst his father, Paul said his son had been happy and looking forward to a family holiday when they had last seen each other.

Suffolk Area Coroner Nigel Parsley said: “We won’t ever fully know, regrettably, what made Reece turn into that layby. There are some unanswered questions here, however, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that Reece intended to take his life.”

At the inquest on Wednesday, Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion that teenager died as a result of a road traffic collision.