Traffic cops use ID technology as part of probe into crash which claimed life of Easington Lane teenager

Karl Bennett, who died in a crash when the car he was in left the A182 South Hetton Road and overturned in a field.
Karl Bennett, who died in a crash when the car he was in left the A182 South Hetton Road and overturned in a field.
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An investigation launched into a horror smash which caused the death of a 17-year-old apprentice has drafted in 'advanced technology' identify the driver.

An inquest review into the death of Karl Bennett, who was in the car when it left the A182 South Hetton Road just after midnight on Sunday, May 17, heard police are now looking at more forensic evidence.

Flowers left at the scene of the crash in tribute to Karl Bennett.

Flowers left at the scene of the crash in tribute to Karl Bennett.

Karl, who lived in Easington Lane, was just days away from his 18th birthday when the green Ford Mondeo he was in overturned in a field near the Plants R Ross garden centre.

The apprentice, who worked as a design technician for Northern Gas Networks in Sunderland and had been an amateur boxer with the former Hetton Boxing Club, was confirmed dead at the scene.

The review hearing, held at Crook Civic Centre and led by coroner Andrew Tweddle, was told further forensic tests are being carried out to prove who was driving the car at the time of the smash, with "advanced technology" being used by police.

Mr Tweddle was also told the officer in charge of inquiries is speaking to the Crown Prosecution Service to seek "charging advice" in regards to the man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The man is on bail until Saturday, January 9.

The next inquest review has been scheduled for Monday, January 25.

Mr Tweddle said: "There are still ongoing police inquiries.

"I should comment to the sergeant, the senior investigating officer, that time is something I'm very concerned about and this has already been going on over six months from the incident.

"I will review this matter further on January 25, after the person who has been arrested has his bail return date, so we should know by that time, hopefully, where the police and Crown Prosecution Service are in this case."

In the aftermath of the crash, Durham Constabulary said the two 18-year-olds who had also been inside the vehicle and from the Easington Lane and South Hetton area, were taken to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for treatment for injuries and later released.

The road was closed off for nine hours after the crash, which was reported to the emergency services by another driver.

Karl's family paid tribute to him, saying he had a promising future ahead of him through his career and would be sadly missed by his brothers Josh and Ben, his mum and dad, and step-mum and step-dad.

Police have appealed for any witnesses or people who saw the car in the time leading up to the tragedy to get in touch.

Any witnesses are urged to contact the collision investigation unit at Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on (01642) 301 558 or Durham Police on 101.