Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Double death car ‘was lifted into air’
10:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A couple died when their Hyundai was involved in a head-on collision that lifted their car off its wheels and spun it through 360 degrees, an inquest in Skipton was told.
The Hyundai carrying Eileen and Stanley Shaw had drifted across the A65 just outside Skipton into the path of a Skoda.
The combined speed of both was 100mph and the impact threw the Shaws’ car back on to its own side of the road, the inquest heard on Thursday.
The engine burst into flames and a passing retired police officer, John Callister, jumped from his car and tackled the blaze with an extinguisher.
The driver of the Skoda Octavia, Desmond Westcott, of Church Street, Addingham, and his wife were trapped and needed to be released by the emergency services. Mr Shaw, 83, and his 61-year-old wife, who was driving the Hyundai, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Their two dogs were unhurt in the rear.
The crash happened as the Shaws, of Colne, were returning from their static holiday caravan in Bishop Auckland.
As they approached the Grassington roundabout, their car moved across the single carriageway into oncoming traffic.
Rob Turnbull, North Yorkshire’s western area coroner, said it was unclear why Mrs Shaw made such a manoeuvre, but it was likely to have been either fatigue or a momentary distraction.
There were reports that Mr Shaw was in poor health and Mrs Shaw had been suffering stress and fatigue in the six months before her death. Mr Turnbull recorded a verdict that the couple died as a result of an accident on Sunday, June 13, this year.
Mr Wescott, who was driving home after visiting his son in Gargrave, said he saw the silver-coloured car suddenly come across on to his side of the road.
“It loomed in front. It must have been close to me when it came out and I had little time to react.
“It came directly into my path,” he said.
His wife was seriously injured but was now recovering, the hearing was told.
Traffic Constable Paul Davenport, who examined the scene, said it appeared the Hyundai rotated clockwise by 360 degrees after the collision and was briefly airborne.