Stolen car was being driven at high speed
TWO men who died after crashing a stolen car had been driving at high speed moments before, police said last night.
Robert Michael Royal, 22, and Stephen John Dickens, 24, both from Darlington, died instantly when the red Rover MGZS careered into a traffic island in Yarm Road shortly after 4am on Sunday.
The car, which had been stolen from a house in the Firthmoor area, then hit a parked Ford Transit van before bursting into flames.
The force of the impact was such that the unoccupied van hit two vehicles parked nearby.
One of the men was thrown from the wreckage, but the other was trapped inside. Both were declared dead on arrival at Darlington Memorial Hospital.
Investigations were continuing last night into the cause of the crash, which happened on a relatively straight stretch of road. Police said there was no suggestion any other vehicle was involved.
Mr Royal, who lived in Lewes Road, was believed to have been driving the Rover and Mr Dickens, of Holgate Moor Green, was in the passenger seat. Police have confirmed there was no one else in the car at the time.
Their families were too upset to talk about the accident yesterday.
Inspector Paul Roe, of Durham Police’s road unit, said last night the car had been travelling at “significant speed”.
He said: “The car hit the central reservation and crashed into parked cars on what is a fairly straight road, so we will need to look into the reasons why that happened.
“We do not believe there was anyone else in the car at the time, and there is no suggestion there was any other vehicle involved.
It has also been revealed that both men had previous convictions, including motoring offences, dating back to 2002.
Mr Royal was given a year-long community rehabilitation order in July for breaking into a garage and stealing a motorbike, and Mr Dickens was convicted in November 2002 of driving with excess alcohol, and without a licence or insurance.
Mr Dickens also had a conviction for possessing four Ecstasy tablets in October last year.
Mr Royal admitted attempted burglary of a Darlington squash club in October 2002.
An inquest into the two men’s deaths will be opened by Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle today.
If you are going to steal a car you deserve everything that comes your way. The families say they are too upset to talk about it, well if they hadn’t raised two fucking criminal scumbags they wouldn’t be in this position, now, would they?
Do you know those flower displays people have at funerals? Normally with “Mum” or “Dad” on them? I’m going to suggest that we all club together to get one that says “CHAV” or “SCUM” or “GOODRIDDANCE” on it.