THE deaths of two friends killed in a "high-speed" car crash on a Hampshire road was an accident, an inquest has heard.

Tom Emery was driving a high-performance Mitsubishi Lancer which he had brought just three days before when he lost control and the car that smashed into a tree before flipping onto its roof.

His friend, Dean Paling was in the passenger seat which took the full impact of the tree.

Southampton Coroner's Court heard how Tom, 24 and Dean, 23, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Tom, from West End, died from multiple injuries while Dean, from Botley, whose nickname was Little Dean, died from a skull fracture.

The inquest heard how investigations into the tragic crash, which happened late on December 2, could not determine how fast the car was going on Southwick Road, which has a 60mph speed limit.

Daily Echo: Dean PalingDean Paling

PC Tracey Saunders told the hearing that it was a "high-speed" crash and that there was no evidence of a third party being involved.

She concluded that Tom had lost control of the vehicle but could not say for certain what caused that to happen.

However, she did say that due to the "unique" characteristics of the car, which had extensive modifications, even an experienced driver like Tom would have needed time to get used to it.

The hearing also heard from those first at the scene who battled in vain to save the two men.

One of those was Jamie Craig who only found out the next day that the passenger of the car was his friend Dean, who was a navigator for his good friend, racing driver Dean Stoneham.

Ruling accidental death for both men, coroner Grahame Short said: " It is apparent to all involved that it [the car] was a machine that was extremely powerful and clearly very dangerous to drive."