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Teenager drowns in sinking car

What Happened
Person trapped by vessel/vehicle
What Caused
Adverse environmental conditions
Casualty type/Qty
Causal Factors
Lack of awareness of hazards/obstacles
Injury Details
Accident suspected

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Description of Incident

A MOTHER broke down in tears as she described how she was forced to leave her son in a sinking car after swerving off the road when she hit a pothole.

Jack Brennan, 16, drowned after being unable to free himself when the Citroen Xara Picasso his mother was driving went into a dyke in Midville, near Boston, on August 19 last year.

Mum Rachel Edwards with daughter Isabella and son Jack Brennan.

Mum Rachel Edwards with her family at the inquest.

Giving evidence at an inquest in Horncastle yesterday, grief-stricken mum Rachel Edwards, who was six months pregnant at the time of the crash, described how she began to swallow water when the car sank into a dyke, before managing to escape through a window.

Jack's two teenage friends, who had also been travelling in the car, also managed to escape but Jack and two-year-old sister Isabella were still trapped.

Mrs Edwards dived back into the water, forcing open the upturned car's door where she felt Isabella's arm hanging upside down.

She told the inquest: "She wasn't breathing and there was black stuff coming out of her eyes and nose. That's when the rushes pulled us both back down again and when we both came back up I knew how terrified she was. I knew I couldn't let go of her or I'd never find her again.

"I knew if I balanced her on a wheel she would fall so I could not go back in to get Jack. So I just waited and waited."

Sobbing as she relived the horror of the day, Mrs Edwards recalled how she had begged Jack's friends who had come back with a woman from a nearby house to take Isabella so she could go back under and save her son.

She said: "I was begging them to please come and take her off me so that I could go back for Jack, but the lady wouldn't let them come in. I know why it was too dangerous, but I was begging."

Earlier that same day, an inspection by Highways had deemed there to be "no safety defects" on the stretch.
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