A CAR-mad teenager who died when his Renault Clio hit a tree was an “over-confident” driver who liked to “push his car to the limits,” an inquest heard.

Paul Warne, 18, was driving to work at Automative Vehicle Services in Verwood on Saturday, March 22, when he lost control of his car and crashed into a tree on Hurn Road.

Passing motorists rushed to his aid and police officers dragged him from the car and attempted resuscitation but their efforts were in vain and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

An inquest at Bournemouth Coroner's Court heard he was not wearing a seatbelt and was likely exceeding the 40mph speed limit, although this may not have been by much.

PC John Hayward, a forensic collision investigator, said the Clio was travelling sideways and rotating when it hit the tree but he could not say for certain why Paul lost control of his car. He said it was possible the car had started to rotate on a left-hand bend and Paul had been trying to correct this.

Brian Elliott, a long-standing friend, said: “He was a very enthusiastic and over-confident driver. I've been a passenger in his car on numerous occasions - he habitually rarely wore a seatbelt and he used to push his car to the limits. I often felt concerned for our safety when he was driving. He used to tell me about near misses he had had in his car.”

Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a verdict of accidental death due to a road traffic collision.

He said: “He might not have exceeded the speed limit by much but it's a challenging road and relatively easy to come unstuck. That sadly appears to be what has happened on this day.”

After the inquest Paul's father, who is also called Paul, thanked everyone who tried to help his son. He said: “He just loved driving.

“He was over-confident, there was nothing you could have said that would have changed that.”