Tributes paid to "beautiful" girl who died in karting tragedy

TRIBUTES have been paid to a beautiful teenage girl who died when her scarf got caught in a go-kart and strangled her. Eighteen-year-old Suzanne Cornwell of Limes Road, Hardwick was involved in a karting incident on Thursday evening (December 10). Pol

TRIBUTES have been paid to a "beautiful" teenage girl who died when her scarf got caught in a go-kart and strangled her.

Eighteen-year-old Suzanne Cornwell of Limes Road, Hardwick was involved in a karting incident on Thursday evening (December 10).

Police were called to the Cambridgeshire Raceway indoor karting circuit in Royston Road, Caxton at about 9.40pm.

Suzanne was one of six teenagers invited to the track by a track marshal after normal opening hours.

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The employee, who would normally have locked up by 9pm, turned off CCTV to cover his tracks before letting the group in to ''impress a new girlfriend''.

But Suzanne's scarf came loose while speeding round the track, and was caught in the engine of her kart cutting off her airways.

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She suffered a severe injuries to her neck and was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge but died the next day.

Phil Meakins, company secretary for Cambridgeshire Raceway, said the karting site had been temporarily closed for ''moral'' reasons.

The employee who let the teenagers into the site has been sacked and the company is considering legal action.

Mr Meakins said: "'All drivers have to wear race suits and helmets and they certainly shouldn't have been allowed to drive wearing a scarf - you can't even wear facial jewellery on the track.'"

He added: ''He has a new girlfriend and I expect he was trying to impress her. He must have got carried away and taken his eyes off the ball.

Cambridgeshire police have now launched a joint investigation with South Cambridgeshire District Council looking at possible criminal charges.

''I just can't believe this has happened - it is a terrible tragedy and I feel awful for the girl's family.''

Suzanne, who was studying at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, lived with father David, mother Wendy and older brother Stuart.

The family were too upset to comment.

Friend Will Hitchcock, 20, of Cambourne, who was one of the youngsters at the racetrack on Thursday night, said the accident was ''horrific to witness''.

He wrote on his Facebook page: ''It's something I'll never forget and I just can't believe she's gone. I'm finding it hard to come to terms with what happened.

''I'm never going to forget that night and the way she was. As time goes by the feelings get worse and worse.

''It's like I'm given the choice of remembering her having the accident, fitting or in the chapel of rest. It's seriously starting to get to me.''

Other friends paid tributes to Suzanne describing the teenager as an ''absolutely gorgeous girl'' who would be sorely missed.

Diane Rason, 51, of Highfields Caldecote, Cambs., the mother of Suzanne's friend Harry, 18, also told how frantic efforts were made to save her at the scene.

She said: ''They got to her and put her in the recovery position straight away. She had gone blue but she was still breathing. They thought she was going to be ok.

''She was a really lovely beautiful girl and very genuine.

''I understand from many of the other kids that she was excelling in college and looking forward to going to university.

''She didn't have a particularly easy home life because her dad had Parkinson's disease. But she was always smiling and I know everyone will really miss her. My son is devastated.''

Diane, who runs the sports and social club in Hardwick, said Suzanne's former school Comberton Village College held a vigil for her on Sunday night.

A series of touching online tributes called her ''an amazing angel'' who will ''forever be in the hearts of everyone you simply smiled at''.

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