Express & Star

Inquests opened into the deaths of Dudley friends Liberty and Ben Corfield

The inquests into the deaths of Liberty Charris and Ben Corfield, the Dudley teenagers who died when a car crashed into a group of people in Oldbury last month, have opened.

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Ben Corfield and Liberty Charris

The two friends were part of a crowd standing on Oldbury Road on Sunday, November 20, when a Nissan Skyline hit the group, killing Liberty and Ben and injuring two others.

Black Country Coroner Zaffar Siddique said: "The causes of death were injuries sustained due to a road traffic collision.

"On the evening of November 20 at 11.38pm a vehicle collided with a group of pedestrians on Oldbury Road near the junction of Crystal Drive.

"The car was driving for reasons yet to be established when it lost control on the Smethwick-bound carriageway.

"Liberty Charris and Ben Corfield were standing with two other friends on the near kerbside. The car hit them and two other pedestrians, then went into a brick wall."

Red balloons ballons were released at an event in memory of Liberty Charris

He added: "Liberty Grace Charris was a student born on May 17, 2006, who lived in Valley Road, Dudley. Ben Corfield was born on April 25, 2003, and lived on Fir Tree Drive, Dudley."

The tragedy happened as people gathered to watch high performance cars drive through the Black Country in what was believed to be an event organised online.

A 54-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been released on police bail and is continuing to assist with inquiries.

The coroner said: "A police investigation has been opened into the incident, therefore I am opening this inquest and adjourning it to a date to be fixed.

"I offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of Liberty and Ben."

The deaths of 16-year-old Liberty and 19-year-old Ben led to a massive outpouring of grief by the friends and family of both teenagers. Heartbroken friends and family of Liberty released balloons into the sky before Dudley Rangers United's match on Sunday.

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