THREE young men died when the car they were travelling in lost control while going around a bend, an inquest found.

Joanne Lees, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, conducted an inquest into the incident, which occurred on the outskirts of Denbigh on the evening of October 26, 2018.

On the balance of probability, the assistant coroner reported a conclusion of road traffic collision for the deaths.

John Michael Jones, 18, and Leon Rice, 17, both of Ruthin, and Colin Hornsby, of Droylsden, Greater Manchester, were travelling in a Vauxhall Corsa on an unclassified road out of Denbigh towards Trefnant.

As a result of the collision, they were certified dead at the scene.

Liam Bell, then aged 19, and Will Royles, 16, were also passengers in the Corsa and they suffered serious injuries.

The Corsa collided with a Vauxhall Antara, which was being driven in the opposite direction.

A witness statement from the driver of the Antara stated that a taxi, being driven by Rhodri Ross, was just missed by Mr Jones driving the Corsa.

However, Mr Jones then struck the Antara.

Describing the road conditions as being "damp", the Antara driver said he was travelling at between 50 and 55mph as he approached a bend from the direction of Trefnant.

He saw a car round the bend in the opposite direction and he said: "I thought it was going to hit the car in front of me."

The Corsa missed the taxi and instead struck the Antara sideways on.

Gavin Davies, a witness collision investigator with North Wales Police, gave evidence at the inquest, which was held in Ruthin.

He said the Corsa had been travelling at between 53 and 64mph when the incident happened, according to airbag information from the Antara.

A mark on the verge of the road indicated the Corsa was travelling at between 61 and 71mph at that point of the bend, said Mr Davies.

The theoretical maximum speed for safely negotiating the bend is 66mph, he said.

Weather or road conditions did not play a part in the tragic incident, said Mr Davies, while lower pressure on the rear tyres of the Corsa could have exacerbated the incident.

The driver of the Antara would not have seen the Corsa until it reached the apex of the bend and he would have had insufficient time to avoid the collision, said Mr Davies.

Two-and-a-half seconds prior to the airbag being deployed, the Antara's speed was 52mph, which was reduced to 42mph two seconds later.

Mr Jones' family asked Mr Davies about safety warnings near to the site of the collision.

He said there were hazard warning lines on the road surface, but there were no warning triangles from 250 metres away.

Mr Jones' family said he did not use the road and instead drove on an alternative route while heading in the direction of Trefnant.

Warnings of hidden dips are located after the site of the collision, said Mr Davies, while he said the only prior warning may have been for a double bend before the bend where the fatal collision occurred.

However, the assistant coroner stated: "With the signage of the road, I am not satisfied my duty is engaged, because I heard there are clear hazard lines on the carriageway."

Liam Bell, of Denbigh, was a passenger in the Vauxhall Corsa on the night.

In his statement, Mr Bell was of the opinion Mr Jones drove "aggressively" and that he was "driving flat out".

He added: "I felt I was uncomfortable as a passenger."

Mr Bell was sat behind the driver's seat, therefore he could not see the speedometer of the vehicle.

The coroner said: "Mr Jones was found to have no drugs or alcohol on his system."

She said the Vauxhall Costa lost control while going around a left half bend.

"It was damp at the time of the collision... but this was not the sole cause of the collision."

She added that the evidence was that the Corsa was being driven at between 61 and 71mph when it hit the verge, and between 53 and 64mph at the point of the collision.

"From the evidence, I do not see the speed at which the Corsa was travelling was causative to the accident," said the assistant coroner.

"I have seen evidence towards the manner the Corsa was driving - that was observation rather than direct evidence.

"I make no finding in the manner the vehicle was being driven.

"It is not the role of the coroner to apportion or attribute blame."

Mr Jones, a former Ysgol Brynhyfryd pupil, was a talented young rugby player with Ruthin Rugby Club and he was also interested in tae kwon-do.

He worked as a tyre fitter with Bartley's Tyres, in Ruthin.

Mr Rice attended Ysgol Heulfre, in Denbigh, Denbigh High School and Ysgol Brynhyfryd.

He studied for an agricultural course in college, as well as completing a pathways to construction course.

Mr Hornsby, given the nickname of Codge by his father, was a regular visitor to North Wales with his family.

He excelled in mathematics and went to sixth form college and Tameside College to study accounting.

He worked at Manchester City FC on match days and after college.