Woman killed in Penley crash was not wearing seat belt

Reporter:

Amy Sargeson

A young woman “probably would have survived” a collision if she had been wearing a seat belt. 

An inquest was held yesterday into the death of Tara Mattee Lear-Jones, of Lowe Hill Road, Wem, Shropshire, but who was
living with her boyfriend Dean Edwards in Johnstown, Wrexham, before she died.

Miss Lear-Jones was killed after being involved in a one-vehicle road traffic accident on the
A539 at Penley, between Whitchurch and Wrexham, on January 25.

No-one had witnessed the crash.

The 24-year-old, who was driving her blue Vauxhall Corsa, was pronounced dead at the scene just before 5pm despite the efforts of local GP Dr Kieran Redman and passers-by who tried to save her. 

Dr Redman was driving towards Hanmer for his evening surgery when he saw a row of cars stopped in the distance and said the road was blocked.

He pulled over when he realised there was an accident as he saw a Vauxhall Corsa “with significant damage” at an “oblique angle” in the road.

Dr Redman told the hearing at Ruthin: “I saw people crouched down in the road around what looked like a bundle of clothes but then I realised it must have been the person who was injured in the crash.”

Members of the public had stopped in the road to help Miss Lear-Jones and put items of clothing on her to keep her
warm.

Dr Redman said she was lying in the recovery position when he approached her and she was surrounded by a “significant pool of blood” with what looked like serious head injuries.

He said: “I took charge of the situation.

“I asked everyone to help me carefully to roll her over onto her back as it’s the best position to carry out CPR.”

Dr Redman also asked one of the people at the scene to go to his surgery nearby in Hanmer and collect equipment such as a defibrillator and an oxygen mask to help take care of Miss Lear-Jones before the emergency services arrived.

He said there could be a “significant wait for ambulances in that area” and it could be a “good half an hour wait or more” for the service to arrive.

Dr Redman had conducted CPR for several minutes to try to save Miss Lear-Jones.

But after a few moments he said the defibrillator showed her heart rate had “flatlined” and he and the people at the scene agreed there was “nothing more they could have done”.

Nicola Jones, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, concluded death was as a result of a collision.

She commended the
efforts of the public to save Miss Lear-Jones who suffered injuries that “would not have been survivable”.

The assistant coroner said it shows “the good side of human nature”.

Dr Andrew Dalton, consultant pathologist at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, conducted a post-mortem examination which confirmed the cause of death was “multiple traumatic injuries due to a road traffic collision” which Miss Lear-Jones suffered when she hit her head after being “thrown out of the car”.

North Wales Police vehicle investigator Gordon Saynor said evidence showed Miss Lear-Jones was not wearing a seat belt.

He said: “Had she been wearing a seat belt she would not gave been ejected from the vehicle from the driver’s window and
she probably would have survived.”

Mr Saynor also confirmed there were no “environmental or mechanical contributions” to the collision.

He said the car had made a  “yaw rotation” and hit a hedge during the collision, but the reason why could not be determined and there was no evidence to suggest “third party involvement”.

Mr Saynor added: “A yaw can be created by overturning and the back end of the vehicle comes round.

“There’s no physical evidence to show why this happened and there was nothing on the vehicle to suggest an explanation
either.

”There was probably overturning on her part but we don’t know why.”

Miss Lear-Jones was described by her family as being a “normal young healthy woman” who had been driving for two years and owned three cars during that time which were all Vauxhall Corsa vehicles.

Email:

amy.sargeson@nwn.co.uk

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