Harrowing YouTube film released by their families as warning
A video of the final moments before two young men from Tunbridge Wells lost their lives in a tragic car crash was viewed almost four million times in the first 24 hours.
The harrowing footage was uploaded to YouTube by Sussex Police with permission of the families in the hope it will discourage others from speeding or driving under the influence of drugs.
It shows driver Kyle Careford, 20, and his friend Michael Owen, 21, travelling at almost 90 miles per hour along country roads in the early hours of Sunday, April 12.
The car crashed into a church wall in Jarvis Brook, overturning and killing the pair on impact.
An inquest last week heard Mr Careford was close to the legal alcohol limit and was under the influence of codeine, cannabis, paracetamol and temazepam at the time of the crash.
The video, taken on Mr Owen’s mobile phone, has gone viral since its release on Monday, as hundreds of people left tributes to the pair on social media.
Echoing the sentiments of the families, on the Sussex Police Facebook page, Pat Odwyer wrote: “If this video makes one young person stop and think and saves a life then it’s done the job.”
Her view was shared by Sharon Wheeler Brown who said: “Very sad I think it was a good warning to people not to drive dangerously.”
Others, such as Lydia Lodge and Fran Turner, praised the families’ ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ decision to allow the video to be released.
On Monday evening, the clip had been pulled from the Sussex Police Facebook page, leading some to claim it was due to the families’ not giving permission.
But a statement from Sussex Police said they ‘did not know why’ the video had been taken down, adding: “We are looking into this.”
Rumours were circulating yesterday that Mr Owen’s brother had denied his family ever wanted the video available online. This conflicts with statements produced by family members of both victims released to the press.
The footage is still available on the Sussex Police news page as well as on YouTube, the BBC and other media platforms and has been copied by other individuals on private accounts.