Sophie death a tragic accident - inquest

A TEENAGER killed at a notorious accident blackspot when the car she was in collided with two other vehicles died in a “tragic accident”, a coroner ruled yesterday.

Craig Robinson

A TEENAGER killed at a notorious accident blackspot when the car she was in collided with two other vehicles died in a “tragic accident”, a coroner ruled yesterday.

Sophie Underwood was a passenger in a black Renault Clio travelling along Foxhall Road, Ipswich, on November 13 last year.

The 18-year-old suffered fatal injuries in the crash, which happened close to the waste and recycling centre and also involved two VW Golfs - one silver and one black.

The inquest into her death was held yesterday at Ipswich Crown Court by Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean.

Miss Underwood, a former Copleston High School pupil who lived in Foxhall Road, was being driven to Tesco at Martlesham by a friend when the accident happened around 8pm.

Most Read

Dr Dean said there was no evidence that any of the drivers involved were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that they had been using mobile phones or that their vehicles had defects that could have caused the crash.

He said it appeared as if the Clio had clipped a verge as it rounded a left hand bend, which caused the car to move onto the other side of the road and collide with the silver Golf before rotating clockwise to collide with the black Golf.

“It was clearly a very tragic accident that caused the death of Sophie Underwood,” Dr Dean said. “Our thoughts are with her family and indeed all those people who were touched by the tragic events of that evening.”

Two other people were cut from the wreckage of their cars by firefighters and taken to Ipswich Hospital and a police investigation into the circumstances of the crash is continuing.

Before her funeral, Miss Underwood's father, Alex, described his daughter - who worked at Costa Coffee in WH Smith's town centre store in Ipswich - as an “outgoing girl” and a “typical teenager”.

Her devastated friends have since lobbied Suffolk County Council in a bid to improve safety on the stretch of road where she died.

Her friends are calling for speed restrictions and other safety measures in the hope of preventing a repeat of the tragedy.

Friend Harriet Atkinson, 18, of Needham Market, said: “I will do anything to ensure the speed limit is reduced in the area and improve the road conditions to make it safe.”

Dr Dean recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter