Father’s tribute to son read at inquest after death on trip to Croatian music festival

AN inquest has heard details about the death of an Orsett teenager who died while on holiday abroad – prompting a public appeal for funds that raised thousands of pounds to bring his body home. 

Aidan Charlie Stevens, 18, of Pound Lane, died on 24 June last year after being hit by a car while crossing a road in Croatia on his first holiday abroad without parents. 

He was travelling by coach with a group of friends to the Hideout Festival, a Croatian electronic music festival held inside iconic clubs at a beach resort.

A former student at Orsett Primary School and William Edwards School, Aidan, was described as a ‘confident’ and ‘honest’ teenager who had dreams of becoming a police officer. 

The inquest was held at Walthamstow where the coroner heard Aidan’s friends say they had crossed a dual carriageway during a rest stop to get to a McDonald’s restaurant. 

Returning to coach Aidan was hit by a car after climbing the barrier in the middle. 

Coroner Nadia Persaud said Croatian authorities had released information regarding the accident.

The car, a Ford Mondeo, was driven by a man who did have a licence and insurance cover. The accident happened on the A7, at around 12.30am, by a sign stating it was 18km from the city of Rijeka.

A post mortem was carried out by a doctor in Croatia, who listed a cause of death as multiple injuries.

Doctor Geraldine Soosay, a pathologist of Barking, Havering and Redbirdge University Hospital NHS Trust, also conducted an examination. She listed a cause of death as multiple injuries, principally a head injury. 

A statement about Aidan written by his father, Barry Stevens, was read out. 

It said: “He was more confident and always asked questions and was involved in school activities.

“He went on to secondary school and made friends very easily. He was outgoing, confident and honest and wore his heart on his sleeve.

“He wanted to become a police officer from the age of two and all through his life that was his dream.

“He was very determined in everything. He took an electrician course at college, he said when he was driving he would go back to collage to do a course in public services.

“He went to an agency to earn money of his own, he knew that if he wanted nice things he would need to work hard to get them and he did just that.

“The agency work offered him a permanent job in Tilbury Docks where he saved for his first car. He would do a lot of overtime and sometimes work six days a week so he could save up.

“He told us he would look after us when he started earning millions.”

The coroner concluded the inquest, saying: “Having heard the evidence and witness accounts I can establish there were no suspicious circumstances or deliberate actions. I would have liked to have more evidence to hear about the speed limit of the road and the speed of the car that was travelling, but I do have enough sufficient evidence to conclude the inquest.

“I am going to record that Aidan died as a result of a road traffic collision.

“I would like to take this moment to thank the family who have attended the inquest for assisting me with the information, and express my sympathies of the court.

“Aidan was so young, at such an exciting time of his life, and it is incredibly tragic how his life had ended in this way.”

A fundraising page was set up to raise money for the family following the death of Aidan. A total of £17,000 was raised, which overtook the £15,000 target.

The funds were to help with funeral costs, flying Aidan back to the UK and to help his family.