A TEENAGE passenger who died in a high speed crash in Ellesmere Port was unlawfully killed, an inquest ruled.
Craig Boulton, 18, was in a car being driven at 100mph in a 30mph zone by Matthew Jones in the early hours of July 30 last year when it crashed into a wall outside Whitby High School.
Matthew, 15, died a day later from his injuries at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Craig's mother Pauline told the Chester inquest how on the day before the tragedy her son was in 'fine spirits, he loved life.'
She added: 'On that Friday night he just went out with his mates and never came back.'
Matthew's father Adrian Jones told the hearing his son had always denied driving.
He said: 'Whenever I asked him he said no, but he was known to go out with his mates and take it in turns. I went out every night for a month-and-a-half trying to catch them.'
Colin Jones, Matthew's cousin, was also a passenger in the car.
He explained that after leaving Legends nightclub in Ellesmere Port, he, Matthew and Craig got into an unattended Vauxhall Cavalier.
Giving evidence, Colin explained that Matthew, who had had 'one or two' drinks, got behind the wheel of the vehicle. This car had been sold as scrap in Northwich a few weeks earlier after failing its MOT.
He said they then drove at high speed around Ellesmere Port, picking up another friend Russell Brown at Overpool train station.
About 3.35am they went past taxi driver Robert Jones in Overpool Road travelling on the wrong side of the road, which he described as 'frighteningly fast'.
Colin Jones told the court: 'I remember seeing a parked van and Matty was trying to slow down but he couldn't. He said: 'The brakes aren't working'.
'No-one was to blame, we all decided to stay out.'
The car clipped the white Suzuki van before spinning out of control and crashing into the school wall.
Expert witness PC Patrick Burn, a traffic officer, said the car was still travelling at least 50mph when it hit the wall.
He added: 'At that speed, it would have overshot the next set of traffic lights by at least 16 metres.'
Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg recorded a verdict of accidental death for Matthew.
He said: 'All the witnesses and the police evidence put the car at just over 100mph as it travelled through Ellesmere Port.
'The car was in a dangerous state, in particular the braking system was defective, with braking fluid that needed changing.'