Student texting before fatal crash

A 17-year-old student was texting her mother and her friend about university offers moments before she drove her car into trees and died, an inquest heard.

Joanne Malcolm passed her driving test first time just three weeks before the crash on November 13 last year.

She was driving home from a horse riding lesson when her friend from Parkstone Grammar School, Holly Chapman, messaged her saying she had been given a conditional offer for Bath University of grades B, C, and D to study psychology.

Joanne replied to the second message but not the third which was sent at 9.07pm.

The teenager also sent a text message to her mother at 9.10pm and received a message back at 9.11pm.

Moments later her Citroen Saxo was found crushed by the roadside after hitting two trees along the A35 near Bloxworth.

Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a verdict of accidental death and added: "The evidence is not close enough to say she was using, looking at or dealing with her mobile phone at the time.

"We still have a mystery as to what caused her vehicle to go off the road and distraction appears to be high on the list."

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