Crash driver 'was not wearing seat belt'

A MOTHER-OF-TWO who was killed when her car overturned on the A14 was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, an inquest has heard.Deborah Irwin died on March 21 this year when the Fiat Bravo she was driving swerved through the central barrier at Levington and ended up on its roof on the opposite side of the carriageway.

A MOTHER-OF-TWO who was killed when her car overturned on the A14 was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, an inquest has heard.

Deborah Irwin died on March 21 this year when the Fiat Bravo she was driving swerved through the central barrier at Levington and ended up on its roof on the opposite side of the carriageway.

Her young son, who was a passenger in the vehicle, miraculously survived without serious injury.

At the inquest into her death, held yesterday at Ipswich Crown Court, Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean was told how moments before the accident Miss Irwin, of Glemham Drive, Rushmere St Andrew, was overtaking a cream coloured van.


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Giving evidence Jeff Cribb, accident investigator with Suffolk Constabulary, said while Miss Irwin was alongside, the van drifted across the central road markings towards her Fiat.

“It was only by a few inches but it is likely Deborah Irwin reacted to the vehicle's movement by braking and steering away to the right,” he said. “There is no evidence of any contact between the two vehicles.”

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As Miss Irwin moved to the right she hit the central crash barrier which caused her to lose control of her car and sent it spinning across the verge and on to its roof on the opposite side of the A14.

“The driver of the Fiat was ejected from the car whilst it was rolling,” Mr Cribb said. “She left the car through the driver's window. It was clear that she was not wearing a seatbelt.”

Mr Cribb said that despite a number of appeals the driver of the van had not been found but police would still like to speak to them.

Miss Irwin, 28, was born in Great Yarmouth, but moved to Acton, near Sudbury, at the age of four and spent most of her life in Ipswich attending Copleston High School.

Her two children, Lucia, six, and Matteo, three, are now being cared for by her partner Alberto Lesina.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Dr Dean appealed for anyone who may have information about the van driver to come forward to help police with their investigation.

In a statement given to the press after the inquest Miss Irwin's sister, Gemma, said: “My sister was truly a beautiful person, both inside and out. She was stunningly gorgeous and incredibly kind hearted.

“She could be so much fun to be around. Her death has irrevocably shattered our family. It hasn't become any easier to deal with - I've found that you just get used to feeling sad.

“Deborah's children were her everything and the ultimate tragedy is that they now have to grow up without her.

“Their hearts have been broken at such a young age and we feel so sorry for them. Deborah was an amazing person, who will of course be loved and missed forever.”

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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