Off-duty firefighters fought to save a young fire service apprentice after a two-vehicle crash in Snowdonia.

At an inquest in Ruthin yesterday (Tuesday) assistant coroner Nicola Jones said she hoped the family of 19-year-old Trystan Rhun Roberts could gain some comfort from the fact that everything possible was done to help him by highly-trained officers.

Despite their efforts, the teenager was certified dead at the scene on the A5 at Capel Curig on May 17 last year.

Mr Roberts, of Faerdref, Cynwyd, near Corwen, was an apprentice fleet technician with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service. He worked at Llandudno Junction and is believed to have been on his way to Coleg Menai in Bangor when the collision occurred.

Mountaineering guide Robert Spencer, who is based at the Plas y Brenin Centre, told the inquest that as he drove from Llanrwst to Betws-y-Coed and then along the A5 towards Capel Curig he was behind a Mercedes which was being driven very carefully and within the limit.

As they approached the Siabod Cafe, the Mercedes indicated to turn right into the car park and slowed down.

As it started to turn, Mr Spencer, a qualified advanced driver, suddenly noticed a red car approaching at speed from behind.

“It was doing about 60mph when it went past me,” he said.

The red car, a Seat Leon driven by Mr Roberts, smashed into the offside of the Mercedes, lifted into the air and collided with a wall outside the cafe.

The off-duty firefighters were among the first on the scene and attempted to resuscitate Mr Roberts.

“The people who came out of the cafe to assist did a good job,” said Mr Spencer.

The driver of the Mercedes, Robert Gayle Browne of Upton, Wirral, who was planning to go walking with friends in Snowdonia, said in a statement read at the hearing that he followed his usual procedure of indicating before slowing down to turn right, then looked in his wing mirror and back over his shoulder.

“I saw a red flash to my right which took me completely by surprise,” he said.

Police collision investigator Gordon Saynor said road conditions were good and there was nothing wrong with the Seat. There was no alcohol or drugs in Mr Roberts’s system and so it appeared that he had either not noticed the Mercedes or thought he could overtake it.

Mrs Jones, the assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, recorded a conclusion of death as a result of a road traffic collision.