A young man who moved out to Florida in the US after finishing college, died when he was involved in a hit and run in which the vehicle and driver were never found.

An inquest in Truro heard that 22-year-old Sabian Lawley was found lying in the middle of a three lane carriageway on March 3 last year after being struck by a vehicle.

Earlier Sabian, whose funeral took place at St Breaca Church in Breage, had been seen drinking in Johnny Mangos Bar and Grill on Indiantown Road, a bar he regularly frequented.

Falmouth Packet: Sabian was last seen drinking in Johnny Mangos Bar and Grill on Indiantown Road, a bar he regularly frequentedSabian was last seen drinking in Johnny Mangos Bar and Grill on Indiantown Road, a bar he regularly frequented (Image: Google Maps)

It is thought he had left the bar to go home when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle or vehicles in the southbound three lane carriageway.

A delivery driver from Taco Bell spotted Sabian’s body in the middle of the road after making a delivery and called 911.

When the Jupiter police arrived at around 3.42am Sabian was declared dead at the scene.

Cornwall coroner Mr Andrew Cox said that the amount of alcohol found in Sabian’s blood was ‘fairly significant’, with two samples showing 0.257 and 0.259 respectively. He said there is no UK exact measure equivalent to that reading but death from alcohol poisoning occurs at a level of 0.4.

“Not enough for alcohol poisoning but comparatively at level he would be feeling the effect of the alcohol,” said Mr Cox.

He said there were no other significant findings.

The police launched a traffic homicide investigation which found there was no ambient lighting at the scene of the accident and no cameras that recorded the incident.

His father Stuart, an IT entrepreneur living in Florida, said a camera from a nearby gated community had recorded the moment of impact but it was too grainy to distinguish any details even when the police had enhanced it.

Pieces of plastic thought to come from the vehicle were found at the scene but it proved impossible to identify the make and model. The inquest was told that there was no evidence of braking or skid marks at the scene.

Falmouth Packet: Sabian LawleySabian Lawley (Image: family handout/muchloved.com)

A number of tips had been passed to the police following the incident but nothing had come of any of them and the investigation had been closed.

In a report a detective investigating the incident claimed that Sabian had a history of alcohol dependency - something that was strongly disputed by the family who were present for the inquest.

Mr Lawley said he would not have used the word alcoholism speaking to the detective, as suggested in the report. “There is a big difference between liking a drink and being an alcoholic,” he said.

The detective also said he had spoken the Sabian’s father who had told him that Sabian had a history of depression and anxiety. 

The police report said Sabian had recently “totalled” his vehicle and relied on Ubers to get around.

The inquest heard that Mr Lawley last spoke his dad on March 2 at 8.20pm when he appeared to be in a good mood and discussed work and getting a new car.

At 0.20am the next day he had called a work colleague but they hadn’t answered.


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Recording a conclusion of death by road traffic accident, Mr Cox said Sabian had been out in the early hours of the morning and he’d had alcohol to drink.

“He’s then been struck by at least one vehicle which has failed to stop,” he said.

He said he simply had no evidence of how this incident would have occurred.

“I have not seen anything to get anywhere near the level where I can say that this was a deliberate act,” he said.

More than £20,000 was raised for the CHAOS Group - which stands for 'Community Helping All Of Society' - after Sabien's death, via https://sabianlawley.muchloved.com/