Fresh Appeal Over Teenager's Death on IOW

15 September 2010, 16:27

Police are making a fresh appeal for two potential witnesses to come forward after a fatal road traffic collision on the Isle of Wight.

Henry Minns, aged 19, from Penryn, Cornwall was walking along Mersley Down Road shortly after midnight on Sunday, September 12,  2010 when he was involved in an alleged hit-and-run collision with a silver Ford Focus, which was being driven along Mersley Down Road from Newport towards Ryde.

Mr Minns received medical attention at the collision scene near the production and bus entrance to the Bestival music festival. He was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Newport where he was pronounced dead.

Next-of-kin and HM Coroner for the Isle of Wight were informed. An inquest was opened and adjourned at 12pm on Wednesday, September  15, 2010 at Newport Coroner’s Court on the Isle of Wight.

A 20-year-old woman from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, who was near the 19-year-old, received injuries that were not life threatening. She was also taken to hospital for treatment and released later on Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Inspector Martin Goodall of Hampshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU) said: 

“Police would like to thank members of the public who helped to look after the injured at the collision scene, and everyone who has come forward with information so far.

“The focus of our enquiries at the moment is on locating more witnesses who we believe were driving along Mersley Down Road between midnight and half past midnight on Sunday morning.

“We are particularly keen to trace the driver of a two-seater sports car who stopped to speak with a woman walking along Mersley Down Road. Another motorist, in a four-by-four vehicle, was also seen driving in the vicinity of the collision.

“Police are also establishing Henry Minns’ movements before the collision. We are aware Henry Minns had spent some time at the Bestival music festival on Saturday. He had been ejected from Robin Hill Country Park by security staff because he was not wearing a Bestival wristband.

“We would like to hear from anyone who thinks they may have seen Henry Minns walking along Mersley Down Road, Briddlesford Road or Downend Road on Saturday night. He was wearing fancy dress, which some people may remember.”

Henry Minns’ fancy dress included red trousers and a top with two false arms, giving the appearance of someone with four arms.

Anyone who thinks they saw Henry Minns or who was a motorist on Mersley Down Road in the first half hour after midnight on Sunday is asked to contact the Road Death Investigation Team by phoning 101 or 0845 045 45 45 quoting Operation Baize..
Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. From outside Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, call the police on 0845 045 45 45. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

Inspector Goodall added:

“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind members of the public about the risks of publishing and spreading speculation about the collision on the internet. We would ask people to consider the feelings of Henry Minns’ family who are coming to terms with a painful loss of a loved one. Police must also protect the integrity of a fair and thorough investigation.

“We will continue working with Bestival organisers to establish and examine all the circumstances leading up to the collision. The considerable co-operation and support of event promoters and security staff is helping the progress of this

Bestival Promoter Rob da Bank said: 

"I am truly shocked and saddened by the fatal accident that took place outside of the Bestival site.. Our thoughts are with Henry's family and friends. We are continuing to assist the police with the investigation.”

A 33-year-old man from Worthing, West Sussex was arrested on Mersley Down Road shortly before 1.30am on Sunday, September 12, 2010. He was detained by police on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. The suspect was taken to Newport Police Station for questioning and later bailed until December 13, 2010 pending further enquiries.

A second man, believed to have been a passenger in a silver Ford Focus, was also arrested in the Mersley Down
Road area during the early hours of Sunday, September 12, 2010. The 20-year-old from Dyfed, Wales was questioned and bailed until December 13, 2010 pending further enquiries.

A silver Ford Focus was found empty near the collision scene during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Parts of Mersley Down Road were closed for at least 12 hours on Sunday, September 12, 2010 while police carried out an investigation at the collision scene.