Elsworth crash brothers killed by ‘accident’
TWO brothers were trying to avoid one over-the-weight-limit lorry when their car ploughed into a second and they were killed, an inquest heard today at Huntingdon.
Mitchell Jacobs, 18, and Matthew, 19, of Sadlers Way, Chatteris were driving northbound along Brockley Road towards Elsworth when they met a Scania concrete-mixer travelling in the opposite direction.
Mitchell, who was driving, pulled onto a grass verge, to avoid the 26-tonne truck but the car, a black Ford Fiesta, swerved back into the road and the boys were hit by a second concrete mixer following behind.
Both siblings, former students at Cambridge Regional College, died at the scene from multiple traumatic injuries.
Wilfred Watts, the driver of the second concrete mixer, told the inquest at Huntingdon Register Office that there was nothing he could do.
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He said: “I was just crawling up the hill at about 30mph when the car came round the corner on to the verge and shot off in front of me. It was on the grass verge and just kept going till it was in front of me.
“The car hit sideways and went under me. I tried to turn away from them but it did not make much difference.”
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Mr Watts was on his way to deliver concrete to a client at Lawn Farm Fishery when he had become lost and stopped to call for assistance in Elsworth.
A second concrete mixer had gone out to guide him to the site. The pair were half a mile out of the village on a sharp bend in the road when the collision happened at 5pm on August 11.
Car driver Jonathan Chapman of Great Cambourne had been travelling behind Mr Watts.
He said: “I suddenly remember seeing this black car shoot across on to the verge and then, swerving round, it came across the road in front of the cement mixer.
“The truck stopped pretty quickly, so did I, to see if there was anything that could be done.
“The cement truck had hit the passenger side of the Fiesta. I remember thinking it had been hit so hard that the passenger side of the car was non-existent.
“Looking in the window, I saw two young lads. The airbags had gone off, the engine was still running and music still on.”
A second motorist, Alison Cook, who was travelling behind Mr Chapman, said: “It all happened very quickly. I remember thinking ‘Oh God, what is he playing at?’
“It was almost as if the driver over-corrected the car and came straight over in front of the lorry.
“The lorry stopped, as did the car in front of me. The driver of the cement mixer, I saw him run to the side of the car. In my view, there was no way he could have avoided the car. It just went straight in front of his lorry.”
But field investigating officer PC Pete Bimson revealed that neither truck should have been on the road, because of a 7.5 tonne weight restriction. He said Mr Watts had been directed there by his satellite navigation system.
“Most sat-navs do not differentiate the type of vehicle you are driving and do not warn of weight restrictions,” he said.
A verdict of accidental death was recorded by South and West Cambridgeshire coroner Sam Bass. Mitchell and Matthew leave behind mother Rosemary, father Mick and sister Abbie.