AN INQUEST opened and adjourned at the Island's coroner's court yesterday into the tragic death of a Gurnard teenager who died when his car plunged over cliffs at a local beauty spot.

Paul Bowen, 19, of Jordan Close died following a police chase.

His car plunged from cliffs at Alum Bay at the Needles Pleasure Park on the west of the Island.

Police believed he had committed traffic offences shortly before the tragedy which happened at around 10.30pm on Thursday.

They stopped pursuing Mr Bowen who was driving a white Vauxhall car after he went through a red light in a built-up area.

He then mounted the grass verge at the Needles before the car went over the edge of the cliff.

Mr Bowen was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Newport but attempts to revive him proved unsuccessful.

The youngster is believed to have shared a home with his mother and step-father.

They remain too distressed by the incident to speak to the press.

Neighbour Dorothy Nicholson said the community were "shocked" by the incident.

She said: "I knew the boy very well and got on well with him. He was always nice and polite to me."

The Police Complaints Authority is investigating the incident as a matter of standard procedure.

Officers from the constabulary's professional standards unit are also involved.

Anyone with any information should call Acting Chief Insp Roger Price at Cowes police station on 0845 045 4545.