Family of young farmer who drove twice the speed limit apologise after fatal crash

Harvey Holehouse (left) was driving over 120mph in a 60mph zone. Passenger Jake Hankins, 17, (right) died in the crash. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

A young farmer from Nottinghamshire died along with his passenger when the car he was driving at over 120mph was involved in a fatal crash.

Harvey Holehouse, 19, of Woodborough, Gedling, was driving his Mercedes along the A612 Southwell Road near Gonalston on 22 September 2022 when it hit an oncoming vehicle before both vehicles left the carriageway.

An investigation by Nottinghamshire Police found that his car had been travelling over 120mph in a 60mph zone.

Three other passengers were in Harvey's car at the time, including Jake Hankins, who also died.

The 17-year-old had accepted a lift from Harvey to make the 10-minute journey back to college.

Harvey's family said they were "truly sorry" to everyone affected, especially Jake's family.

An inquest into the deaths of the two teenagers ruled that Harvey and Jake died as a result of a road traffic collision.

A further passenger in the Mercedes and the driver of the vehicle travelling on the opposite side of the road suffered serious injuries from which they are still recovering.

The fourth passenger in the Mercedes suffered minor injuries.

Coroner Jonathan Straw stated at the start of proceedings that the inquest was looking at "the collision leading not just to the two deaths of both Harvey and Jake, but also physical mental lifelong injuries to Olivia, to Sam and to Dominic."

The crash happened along the A612 Southwell Road near Gonalston Credit: Google Maps

In a statement Harvey’s family said: "To everyone affected by the accident on 22 September 2022, and especially to Jake’s family we are truly sorry.

"We hope the memory of Harvey will not be defined by the events of that night and we hope that Harvey can be remembered for being the life and soul of wherever he went and for the love and kindness that he showed to all that he met.

"You always knew Harvey was in the room.

"We will remember Harvey for laughing, dancing, singing and joking his way around our home and are incredibly grateful for the joy he brought to our family.

"Harvey was a good person with so much potential.

"We love him and miss him dearly."

The court heard Harvey was driving his friends Jake, Sam and Dominic back from the Magna Charta pub in Lowdham, during which he drove his Mercedes reaching a top speed of 127mph on Southwell Road, near Gonalston.

The group had gone with some other friends to the pub after attending a planning meeting for an upcoming ploughing match. It was decided that Harvey would drop Jake off at Brackenhurst College, before taking Sam home to his parents house in Southwell, and then he planned to visit his girlfriend.

Video footage recorded by Dominic moments before showed the car reached a top speed of 127mph, although it decreased to 108mph two seconds before the crash.The video was not shown in court but a still image was instead shown, in which a speed of 123mph was displayed on the dashboard.

Speaking about the speed, the coroner stated: "That kind of speed is incredibly fast, ludicrous on that kind of road in those conditions."

Pathologist, Dr Zaitoun, explained during the inquest that both Harvey and Jake suffered "multiple catastrophic" injuries.

'This accident was caused by a complete act of recklessness'

In a statement, the family of Jake paid tribute to a "kind" son, with an "infectious smile".

They said: "Jake was a kind, gentle, and considerate young man – just starting to plan his life.

"He loved farming with an absolute passion and gained a great number of friends through his interests within the farming community.

"He has been described as having an infectious smile, but he was so much more than that to us.

"Words alone cannot describe the wonderful young man he was or the deep loss and pain we feel.

"Jake was our son, a little brother, a nephew, and a grandson and loved by so many people that all miss him dearly.

"Life without Jake just isn’t life."

The family added that Jake had accepted the lift by someone "he barely knew".

They said: "Jake was a rear seat passenger in a car driven by someone that he barely knew and had merely accepted a lift back to college – a 10-minute ride.

"This accident was caused by a complete act of recklessness and has completely devastated not just our lives, but many of the families and friends of those severely injured.

"There are far too many lives lost and serious injuries caused by inexperienced young drivers behind the wheel of powerful motor vehicles – our children’s lives on the roads need to be protected by setting a no passengers policy and mandatory fitting of a black box for under 25s."

After the inquest, investigator Louise Melbourne, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "This tragic incident has taken the lives of two adored sons’ way before their time.

"We sincerely hope as a result of today’s inquest both families and everyone involved will now be able to find some peace that the investigation has concluded."

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