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Driver killed reading text

PUBLISHED: 17:13 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 12 August 2010

A TEENAGE driver died after he reached for his mobile phone to read a text message from his girlfriend and crashed into a tree. George Modedale, 17,

A TEENAGE driver died after he reached for his mobile phone to read a text message from his girlfriend and crashed into a tree.

George Modedale, 17, received the phone message from his girlfriend Sarah Mustoe on June 17 shortly after he had left her which caused him to swerve and crash in West Common Road, Bromley.

His VW Polo burst into flames but he might have lived had he been wearing a seatbelt, a Croydon inquest heard on November 26.

Coroner Dr Roy Palmer, recording an accidental death verdict, described it as a "dreadful tragedy".

Traffic investigator PC Kevin Holloway said he was taking the left into Baston Manor Road towards his home in Palace Road but instead moved to the off-side.

Mr Holloway said: "The hypothesis is that the phone rang and he used his left hand to reach for it and, without realising it, he moved the steering wheel to the right.

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