THE dad of a teenager who froze to death after a night out told of his devastation he wasn’t there to save him yesterday.
The inquest into the death of 17-year-old Lee Sellers got under way at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court yesterday, more than five years after his death.
Lee’s body was found in a coal bunker in Higher Kinnerton on February 13, 2004, two weeks after he went missing following a night out at the Cross Keys pub Buckley.
Yesterday dad Neville Sellers told the inquest: “It has changed me. I’m more bad tempered now.
“There is a frustration that I wasn’t there to save him.”
And mum Helen Sellers said: “There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think of him.”
The couple had separated when Lee was about seven years old.
Acting Coroner for North East Wales John Gittins told Lee’s parents they had nothing to feel guilty about.
He said: “Even at the age of 17 a person has responsibility, and he made his own decision to go out drinking.”
Lee was last seen in the Buckley pub, just minutes walk from his home on Lyme Grove, on the evening of Thursday January 29 where friends said he was drunk “but happy”.
It was a cold night the inquest heard.
Later drivers had reported seeing a man thought to be Lee staggering along the A550 trying to wave traffic down shortly after midnight.
Some of them had to swerve to avoid hitting him.
Christopher Jones said: “There was a white XR3i in front of me that had to swerve violently around the person.”
Mr Jones was also forced to take evasive action.
“He only had a T-shirt on which surprised me because it was so cold,” he said.
He appeared covered in mud Mr Jones told the inquest.
Lee’s mum raised the alarm the next morning when the trainee electrician failed to return home.
Home Office pathologist Brian Rodgers who carried out the post mortem said the former Elfed High School pupil died of hypothermia with high levels off alcohol a contributory factor.
Mr Rodgers said Lee would have died quickly.
Today two police officers who stopped Lee on the road when he had no shoes on are due to give evidence.