A ‘much-loved’ couple whose deaths will ‘forever leave a hole’ in their families lives died after a ‘tragic’ car crash on their way to a party, an inquest heard.
Chloe Richardson, 20, of Roman Way, Billingshurst, and Daniel Eldergill, 21, of Browns Lane, Storrington, died when their car left the road and collided with a tree on the A284 London Road, Arundel, on November 17, 2016.
Chloe worked at Anjels Hair and Beauty Salon in Crawley and Daniel worked for Tesla in Storrington.
At an inquest in Crawley today (Thursday), Chloe’s mother, Sharon Richardson, said: “On November 17, Chloe had been working during the day and had not planned to go out that evening.
“I went out to my mum’s and when I got home she was out so she must have changed her mind.
“It was late at night and I was thinking about going to bed when police knocked on my door.
“The officer informed me what had happened and it was a total shock.
“We were all so shocked and upset it was so hard to believe.
“We were a very close family. We all miss Chloe so much. Chloe was a kind, lovely, bubbly person who always put others first. She loved being with her family and going out with her friends.
“Her death has left a big hole in our lives and she is sadly missed every day.”
Sharon added that when Chloe was not at work, a lot of her time was spent with her long-term boyfriend, Daniel.
At the inquest, Daniel’s sister Natasha Eldergill read a statement on her mum, Tina’s, behalf, which read: “On November 17, there was a birthday celebration and we knew Chloe and Daniel were going to be there, too.
“On our way from Storrington to Littlehampton we could not go the way we wanted to go through Arundel because there was an accident and the road was closed.
“As we kept driving I kept thinking about the accident and decided to call Daniel, but he did not answer his phone.
“I then decided to call Chloe and she didn’t answer either which was very unusual because she was always glued to her phone.”
The inquest heard from the statement that they then turned back to the scene of the accident where they discovered it was Daniel and Chloe who had been involved.
Speaking after the inquest, Tina Eldergill said: “All I want is my son back. He was my only boy and I love him so much.”
His sisters Sam and Tasha described Daniel as a ‘legend’ and said he was always ‘very protective’ despite being the youngest. Eldest sister Sam Camps said: “It was a tragic accident. Life will never be the same.”
Evidence provided by toxicologist Amber Crampton showed there was no substances in Chloe’s blood samples, but there were traces of cannabis found in Daniel’s.
However, she added that it would not be possible to prove how long before the incident Daniel had consumed the cannabis or whether the usage affected his driving.
Concluding the inquest, coroner Elizabeth Bussey-Jones said: “On November 17, the vehicle was being driven south on the A284 in the direction of Arundel.
“The vehicle left the road, collided with the kerb, and mounted the pavement and collided with the tree.
“The driver had lost control of the vehicle.
“The impact of the car on the tree caused catastrophic injuries from which they lost their lives.
“Evidence of cannabis was detected in the sample from Daniel but it is not possible to determine whether the usage affected Daniel’s driving. “I conclude the most probably cause of death is road traffic collision.
“I appreciate you are all pained from the loss which you have suffered and I extended my condolences to all of you.”