July 31 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A mystery car has been blamed for causing the deaths of two teenagers in a horror crash nearly two years ago.
Kathryn Rivett, 18, from Airedale, Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, and her friend Sam Jaggard, also 18, from Ullswater, Carlton Colville, died after the car they were travelling in was in a collision involving another car on the A143/A146 at Gillingham, near Beccles.
Miss Rivett was declared dead at the scene while Mr Jaggard, a talented golfer, died later that day at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
The pair were being driven home by their friend, Georgia Puttock, who was also 18.
Miss Rivett, a customer services agent, was the front seat passenger in the red Vauxhall Corsa and Mr Jaggard, a shop assistant, was in the back.
The Corsa collided with a Mercedes ML being driven by David Bush, at about 6.30pm on July 17, 2012.
An inquest into their deaths in Norwich yesterday heard that the driver of a car heading in the opposite direction, who overtook a cyclist and came on to the other side of the road, may have caused the crash.
Taxi driver Michael Gennery, who was travelling in front of Miss Puttock’s car, told the inquest: “This unknown vehicle suddenly overtook a cyclist. It forced me off to my left hand side, and also forced the car being driven by Miss Puttock behind me, off the road into the dirt and gravel, which made her lose control and move across the road. Unfortunately the person that caused the accident has got away with it.”
Miss Puttock suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
She was later cleared of causing the death of her friends by careless driving at Norwich Crown Court after the jury was ordered to return two not guilty verdicts.
She told the inquest she could not remember anything about the accident.
In a statement made by Mr Bush, the driver of the Mercedes, which was read to the court, he said he saw “a red flash” before the crash.
The court heard that there was nothing he could have done to avoid the collision.
Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded that both teenagers’ deaths were due to road traffic collisions.
The cause of death for both was multiple injuries.
Collision investigator PC Lee Smart said Miss Puttock’s inexperience as a driver may have contributed towards her losing control of the car.
He also said the evidence suggested Mr Jaggard had not been wearing a seat belt.