Crash death was accident inquest ruled

By Connie Osborne Thursday 16 January 2014 Updated: 17/01 09:58

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Buy photos » Rebecca Flay died after losing control of her car on the Studley Road on September 9, last year. (s)

A STUDLEY woman who died in a car crash lost control while driving around a bend, an inquest heard.

Rebecca Flay - known as Beckiie - passed away on Friday, September 13, last year, following a collision on the Studley Road four days earlier about 8.15am.

An inquest at Worcestershire Coroners Court heard how the 20-year-old - who was driving a black Volkswagen Lupo from her home in Stapleton Road to Redditch - crashed into a Peugeot 307 after appearing to hit the kerb and ended up on the opposite carriageway.

Hollie Smith, the driver of the Peugeot, said: "I was about 50 yards away from the bend and I saw a car coming round the corner and it looked like it was out of control.

"I thought it might have hit the kerb and it started to come over to my side of the road sideways towards me."

Another driver, Mark Gormley, added: "It appeared to be fishtailing so the back end was moving side to side and it looked like someone was trying to control it."

The front of Miss Smith's car was then hit by the Lupo on the driver's side at approximately 23mph - 17 mph lower than the speed limit.

Miss Flay, a former Studley High School pupil who worked part time at Boots in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, was taken to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham along with her sister Stephanie who was a passenger in the car.

An autopsy confirmed she died as a result of multiple injuries and no alcohol was found in her system.

A vehicle examination also found no faults with either of the cars, while an investigation by West Mercia Police said although the road was wet at the time there were no signs of bad driving before the accident or of her speeding.

In a statement read out by the coroner, collision investigator David Langridge said he could not explain why she lost control of the vehicle.

Police also found her mobile phone in the footwell of the car which showed a three second call to her home at 8.15am.

But it is believed the impact may have bumped her phone and dialled the last called number.

Her mother Dawn said she had only been driving a few months but would never use her phone and would not have called home because she knew no one was there at the time.

"She was a very cautious driver. She couldn't overtake vehicles because it was only a one litre engine and she wouldn't be able to get up to speed. She drove that way often, to her boyfriends or to work. She would have only been two or three minutes away from home," she said.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Geraint Williams, said the crash was not at high speed.

"You might speculate it was a speed which was too great for the corner in those conditions, that is not to say it was a high speed. But for some reason Miss Flay lost control of her vehicle."

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