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Inquest hears of A120 horror crash

PUBLISHED: 05:51 06 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

AN elderly couple's Ford Fiesta was thrown into the air, overturned and ended up on its roof in a field after being hit almost head on by a convertible sports car, an inquest heard yesterday.

AN elderly couple's Ford Fiesta was thrown into the air, overturned and ended up on its roof in a field after being hit almost head on by a convertible sports car, an inquest heard yesterday.

Alfred Clatworthy, 83, and his 82-year-old wife, Annie, who lived at Keynes Way, Dovercourt, died at the scene of the crash on a single-carriageway stretch of the A120 at Wix, near Harwich.

Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict of accident at the conclusion of the inquest, which was held at Weeley.

The collision happened when the Dutch driver of an MG travelling in convoy tried to overtake a moped on the way to the international port on September 4 last year.

The driver of the left-hand drive sports car, 73-year-old Jan Stronks, from Barneveld, pulled out and was attempting the manoeuvre when his car glanced down the side of an oncoming Peugeot, being driven by 92-year-old Samuel Ostler, from Holyrood, Dovercourt.

“I was doing about 48 miles an hour. He cut the front wing and took a groove out of the side of our car. The rear wheel burst,” said Mr Ostler, who was in the Peugeot with his wife.

The MG - still on the wrong side of the road - then ploughed into the front of the car travelling directly behind Mr and Mrs Ostlers'.

Witness Emma Beasley said: “I saw the MG strike the car in front of the Fiesta. It hit it slightly on the corner. Then I saw it heading towards the Fiesta.

“It hit the Fiesta directly in front of me.”

She explained that although the Peugeot swerved to avoid the green MG, the sports car hit the Fiesta corner to corner.

PC David Howard, a traffic accident investigator, said road conditions had been good and visibility clear at the time of the accident.

The marks on the road were consistent with the witnesses' accounts of their vehicles' movements.

The collision between the Fiesta and the sports car was “almost head on,” he said.

PC Gavin Harvey, of Stanway Traffic, said Mr Stronks accepted the material facts of the incident.

He had been attempting to overtake a moped that two vehicles in front of him had already passed, PC Harvey added. It was while performing the manoeuvre the first collision happened.

Last September, the EADT reported Mr Stronks was fined £1,000 at Colchester Magistrates' Court after being charged with careless driving in relation to the incident.

After the accident, calls were made by members of the local community to improve the road and the EADT is currently running a campaign calling on the Department for Transport to make improving this major international trunk road between Harwich and Little Bromley a priority.


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