The four missing teenagers who were found dead in a horror car crash tragically drowned, an inquest opening has heard.
Harvey Owen, 17, Jevon Hirst, 16, Wilf Fitchett, 17, and Hugo Morris, 18, were found in their overturned silver Ford Fiesta near Snowdonia National Park, following a camping trip that ended in heartbreak.
The teens had embarked on a camping adventure to Snowdonia National Park after stopping at Premier Foods in Harlech, where they were spotted in high spirits, purchasing coal and pasta.
However, the joyful excursion turned into a frantic search when the boys failed to return home to Shrewsbury as planned. It was a day later that their families reported them missing, and the hunt ended in tragedy when their overturned car was discovered near the village of Garreg, partially submerged in a ditch, nearly two days after their last contact.
North Wales Police Supt Owain Llewelyn issued a statement about the devastating incident that left the four boys dead.
"Police officers attended and located a Ford Fiesta on its roof partially submerged in water. Tragically the bodies of four young males were recovered from within the vehicle," they said, per The Independent.
"At present, this appears to have been a tragic accident, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the four young men at this very difficult time," Llewelyn continued.
To honor the memory of the four teenagers, their heartbroken families held a vigil at the remote crash site. Officers investigating the fatal accident joined the relatives during the visit. The local community rallied in support, and traffic was temporarily halted as the area came together to remember the young lives lost.
According to BBC News, the opening of an inquest at Caernarfon, Gwynedd, heard post-mortem examinations on all four teenagers showed the provisional cause of death to be drowning.
Kate Robertson, the senior coroner for North West Wales, said: "All four were traveling in a motor vehicle along the A4085 when the vehicle left the road, leading to their deaths."
Robertson told the hearing that the police investigation was "ongoing," adding: "Only when it's complete will a full inquest take place."
"At this time, speculation is unhelpful and compassion will achieve more than media curiosity," she continued. "I offer the families of Wilf, Jevon, Hugo, and Harvey my sincerest condolences."
Tributes have poured in from across the community in Shropshire, where the boys lived.
The grieving mom described him as "laid back, charismatic, cheeky" and a "boy that preferred to be outside and active," adding: "He was the most gentle soul, always feeling empathy for people and seeing the good in everyone," she added.
"I've lost my boy, the boy I absolutely adored, and I can't accept that I won't be able to hold him again or tell him I love him again," she concluded.
Crystal also penned in an emotional Facebook post: "I feel like I’m in a nightmare I wish I could wake up from but I’m not. I just wanted to say I do appreciate people’s kindness but no amount of messages is going to help me overcome this. Nothing will make this nightmare go away."
Wilf's girlfriend, Maddi Corfield, paid a touching tribute, expressing her love and deep sadness at the loss of her "sweet, sweet angel." She vowed to cherish life in his memory, just as he would have wanted.
Furthermore, Hugo's friend, 18-year-old Matt Richards from Shrewsbury, has set up a fundraiser with his sister to help the four boys' families with funeral costs. The donations have amassed to £23,232 - exceeding the £4,000 target.
As investigators continue their work, the community of Shrewsbury grapples with the unspeakable pain of losing four young lives, and the nation mourns alongside them.