A YOUNG driver told police she felt 'broken' after crashing her car into a ditch and seeing her best friend die.

Lydia Rawlings took to the witness box at Oxford Coroner's Court today, during the long-awaited inquest for 19-year-old Ferne Campbell.

Miss Campbell was a passenger in Ms Rawlings' car on September 5, 2016, when they came off the road on the A361 Williamscot Hill near Banbury.

The trainee hairdresser died later that day at the John Radcliffe Hospital but Ms Rawlings, who had passed her driving test six weeks earlier, survived.

In a police interview weeks later, she said she had 'lost control' of her silver Toyota Yaris after it began 'furiously' shaking and veering to the left.

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During questioning, the court heard, she said: "If I'm hurting this much from losing my best friend, I can't imagine what her parents are going through.

"She was my sister and she's gone - I'm just broken."

The pair had been driving to Banbury to collect currency, for a holiday they had been booked to go on the following week.

Miss Campbell lived near Daventry in Northamptonshire, and her family has been pushing for the Crown Prosecution Service to take legal action.

The CPS declined to prosecute, which is why the inquest has finally been allowed to proceed.

In her police interview, Ms Rawlings said she was driving at about 45mph down Williamscot Hill and braked as she approached an S-bend in the road.

She said: "As I went into the first bend, my car started to shake. I put my brakes on and I lost control - the shaking got worse.

"The car was moving without me telling it to.

"I just couldn't control it, I tried to steer it back but the car kept going to the right.

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"At first it was a judder, my steering wheel was vibrating, and then it was more furious."

She added that she was not aware of any mechanical faults.

Ms Rawlings told police that even though she had qualified as a driver just six weeks before, she drove the route daily and had driven in her car for 'probably 200 hours' with her parents while she was a learner.

The collision happened just before 10am and Ms Rawlings said the road was wet as it was raining, and there was a channel of water running across the road close to one of the bends.

The court heard Ms Rawlings had celebrated her birthday five days before the crash, and spent the day with Miss Campbell.

She said although her friend also drove, she felt that she owed her lifts and that Miss Campbell was 'interested in getting my confidence up as a driver' by being her passenger.

Prior to her evidence today, Miss Campbell's family's lawyer argued that the coroner had a ‘statutory obligation to adjourn the inquest’.

He said 'fresh evidence' revealed at the start of the inquest yesterday should be raised again with the CPS.

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This was partly due to a comment made by the coroner, quoted in the Oxford Mail, when she said: "She [Ms Rawlings] was going round the bend too fast for her experience, that in itself is not a criminal offence."

The lawyer said: "The concern is that the full and fearless examination of the evidence had barely begun when the comment was made.

"Your comments display a closed mind to your function throughout the entirety of the [inquest] process."

After postponing the inquest to consider his argument, the coroner, Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, concluded that the inquest should not be adjourned.

She said: "That comment was made in the context of the decision by the CPS not to proceed.

"I do retain an open mind.

“What’s desirable and procedurally correct is for this long-standing inquest to proceed and for the evidence to be heard, following which it is a matter for the family and myself regarding any further referral to the CPS.”

The inquest continues.