The parents of a teenager who died after he was thrown from an unroadworthy 4X4 that had been bought for just £100 said their family has been ‘destroyed’.

John and Karen Rowlands claim their lives were cut short when Andrew, 18, died in the car accident that occurred on the A692 in County Durham.

His family and friends are encouraging people to think twice as part of a national road safety campaign that takes place this month.

Mr Rowlands stated, “Andrew had everything in his hands,”

Andrew made a terrible mistake.

“He always saw the best and the brightest in people, never those who were the worst. Unfortunately, he trusted someone that day who was not roadworthy, couldn’t drive that vehicle, didn’t have any driving experience, and no license.

“It was atrocious. You could argue that that one mistake cost him his life.

Dylan Brunton, then 17, drove the 4×4 while he was still in high school. He fled the scene with the two other passengers who were also in his care after the crash.

Andrew Rowland, 18, died after he was thrown from an unsafe 4x4 purchased for £100 by Dylan Brunton, 17, who was unable to drive

Dylan Brunton

Andrew Rowland, 18, died after he was thrown from an unsafe 4×4 purchased for £100 by Dylan Brunton, 17, who was unable to drive

Brunton was sentenced to 32 months at a young offenders' institution following the fatal crash. He had paid £100 for the Daihatsu Terios Tracker which was not roadworthy

Brunton was sentenced after the fatal accident to 32 months in a young offender’s institution. He had paid £100 for the Daihatsu Terios Tracker which was not roadworthy 

Andrew's father John Rowlands said: 'Andrew had everything in front of him. He had a lot of things going for him and unfortunately Andrew made a mistake'

John Rowlands, Andrew’s father, said that Andrew had everything before him. Andrew made a mistake. He had many things going for him.

Brunton, East Stanley, Durham, is currently in 32-months imprisonment in a young offenders’ institute. The Rowlands family continues to grieve the loss of Andrew.

Andrew’s absence is so devastating that Andrew’s family plans to sell their dream house as it is a constant reminder.

“People don’t understand that they can’t see what they read in the paper, but it’s the after effects,” Mr Rowlands stated.

“It’s taken Andrew’s whole life, but it’s also caused havoc in our family. The knock-on effect, the emotional side of the feelings.

“It’s just awful. I could go on for hours about it. But, it’s only when you’ve been in our shoes that it becomes understandable.

“I wish Andrew hadn’t gotten in that car, and we weren’t having this conversation, but he did. It could save your life if people think before they act.

Think about the decisions that you make. Are you really able to trust that person in a vehicle?

Mr Rowlands said his son made a mistake getting into the car, an error which cost him his life

Mr Rowlands claimed that his son made an error getting in the car. It cost him his life.

Mr. and Mrs Rowlands along with their daughter Rebecca are supporting Durham Constabulary’s Tyre Safety Month. This encourages drivers and passengers to ACT by checking their air pressure, condition and tread at least once a week and before long distances.

Rowlands stated, “Andrew’s suicide could have been prevented in so numerous ways that day,”.

Andrew would still be here if Andrew had done more research and known more about the man.

He stated that Andrew woke up in the morning on June 18, 2020, but never woke up on June 19.

Inspector Kev Salzer of the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit thanked the Rowlands family’s courage in sharing Andrew’s story and urged others not to ignore the warning to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy.

He stated that Andrew’s death was tragic, and that the grief felt by his family is something we will never understand.

‘Andrew may have lived if Brunton’s car had been roadworthy. While this is an extreme example, it shows how all drivers are responsible for making sure their vehicles are safe.

‘If your car is not in good condition, most garages are able to inspect it for you at no cost.