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Thursday, 23 October 2014

A69 CRASH TEENS DIED INSTANTLY

A LANGHOLM teenager and her boyfriend died instantly when the car they were travelling in skidded into the path of a 44-tonne truck after hitting standing water on the A69 near Carlisle.

The impact of the crash killed Yasmin Hall, 15, of Charlotte Street and Mark Holliday, 17, of Brampton, an inquest in Carlisle was told last Wednesday.

Both died of multiple injuries “instantaneously”.

The pair, who were on their way to Burger King in Carlisle at the time, were killed on May 5 last year when Mark’s car, a red Toyota Corolla, collided with the lorry carrying bricks.

The accident happened outside the Waterloo Inn pub near Aglionby after a deluge of rain which left water cascading down the hill beside Carlisle golf club.

Customers in the pub rushed outside to try to help but were held back by the intensity of the blaze.

The inquest heard that Mark’s car, described as his “pride and joy”, aquaplaned on the road surface after hitting a pool of standing water and rotated into the path of the lorry, driven by Peter Crabtree, 42.

Police accident investigators found no mechanical fault with Mark’s car but blamed two defective back tyres, which were below the minimum tread depth, for the loss of grip on the road.

PC Phillip Murray, a forensic accident investigator with Cumbria police, said: “There would have been very little that Mark could have done to stop the vehicle rotating.

“He would have had very little time to react to the loss of control.”

He said Mark had not been speeding but he may have been travelling at “excessive speed” for the weather conditions and the defective tyres on his car.

Mark had met Yasmin at a New Year party at Roadhead and the pair had become boyfriend and girlfriend.

Mr Crabtree said: “I saw three cars approaching and the next minute the rear of one of the cars seemed to lose control and start sliding.

“I started braking hard not knowing which direction the car was going to go in and it slid across the road and into the front of my wagon.

“The crash lasted seconds.

“When I became aware that I wasn’t trapped, I ran across the road to the pub and that’s when there was the fire.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, David Roberts, coroner for north and west Cumbria, said the accident was “a massive tragedy”.

“It was a massive impact so huge that the possibility of either of these young people surviving was not an option at all.

“I’m satisfied that the rear tyres were inadequate for the road conditions. There were bald tyres on the back of the car. If they had been of the same depth as the front tyres, this accident would not have occurred.

“Let this be a lesson to everyone – young and old – to get their tyres checked and make sure they are legally compliant.”

Earlier, on the night of the crash, Mark and Yasmin had been in Langholm.

Yasmin’s mum, Lisa Rutherford, a nurse, said: “They had been shopping and had had some tea.

“They were both in good spirits when they left.”

Yasmin was a pupil at Langholm Academy who wanted to follow a career with horses. She had won a place at Newmarket Racing College.

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