Brother and sister killed in tragic accident

A MAN who survived a horrendous car crash which killed his girlfriend and her brother has described the moments leading up to the tragic accident.

Aaron Timms was in the back seat of an Audi A3 being driven by his girlfriend Donna Read after they had celebrated her brother Oliver’s 24th birthday.

Chelmsford Coroner’s Court yesterday heard that Donna, 20, was heading home to West Bergholt when she overtook a Vauxhall Corsa travelling towards Bures.

Donna, a former pupil of Colchester’s Gilberd School, was travelling at about 60mph along the 30mph stretch of road when she lost control less than a mile from her home in New Church Road in the village.

The Audi swerved before hitting a kerb before passing through a hedge and colliding with a lamppost and a brick wall.


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Both Donna and Oliver, known to friends as Oli, were killed in the accident on September 22, 2008.

A visibly shaken Mr Timms told the inquest his memory of the fateful night was vague but said they had been to the a before enjoying a Chinese meal in Colchester.

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He suffered a broken back in the accident and was transferred from Colchester General Hospital to Queen’s Hospital in Romford for specialist treatment.

He said: “I just remember driving, following a car. We overtook the car – a black Vauxhall Corsa - and as we came back from overtaking we lost control and spun off and hit the lamp post and that was it.”

Mr Timms, who was 21 at the time, said he estimated Donna had been travelling at about 70mph when she overtook opposite Maltings Park Road.

He described how the Corsa had been breaking in front of the Audi as they followed it out of Colchester.

“I think she [Donna] just had enough and wanted to get past and out of the way – it was a little bit ‘why is he doing this?’

But Audi driver, Mark Livermore told the inquest the only time he braked was to slow down as he heading into the 30mph zone at about 11.30pm.

“I think that the Audi was driving too fast, when it overtook me I could not understand why.”

Mr Livermore described the Audi swerving as it overtook, saying he “instinctively knew it was out of control”.

He said a car had been at the junction of Maltings Park Road at the time of the accident, but the inquest heard that the driver had never been traced.

Pc Duncan Thurlwell, an accident investigation expert from Essex Police, said once Donna lost control the there would not have been enough room to correct the car.

“It is extremely unlikely the driver would recover or regain control and an accident of this kind is completely inevitable,” he said.

Post mortems concluded Donna died from a head injury and her brother from multiple injuries.

Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley Murray recorded verdicts of accidental death in both cases.

After the accident, Donna and Oliver’s parents, Fiona and Martyn, their sister Elise, her partner Mark and the children’s grandparents said the family was devastated, and that the siblings had been “good kids”.

“They were both hard working and Oliver would do anything for anyone. They will be sadly missed by all their family and friends,” they said.

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