Great Yarmouth mother wasn’t wearing seatbelt in fatal crash

An inquest into the death of a Great Yarmouth woman and her son in a car crash in north Suffolk earlier this year revealed that the woman was not wearing a seat belt.

The hearing was held at Lowestoft Combined Court yesterday to determine the circumstances of the deaths.

The victims were confirmed as Patricia Harcourt, aged 65, of Beatty Close, Great Yarmouth and her son Steven Ray, 43, of Garden Close, Bungay.

Mr Ray was in the front passenger seat of the Hyundai Accent that his father, Ron, was driving when it was involved in a collision with a single-decker bus on the B1127 at Hulver, near Beccles, on Friday, February 18.

Both died at the scene, while the driver, Mr Harcourt, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with chest injuries and in a serious but stable condition.

The hearing had been adjourned from Wednesday, February 23, while further investigations were carried out.

Coroner, Yvonne Blake, confirmed there were no independent witnesses to the crash and said: 'Mrs Harcourt was an unrestrained passenger in the rear seat and Mr Ray was a restrained front-seat passenger when their car was in collision with a single-decker bus.

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'Mr Harcourt was driving as they travelled between Bungay and Kessingland when the car drifted into the opposing lane and into the path of the bus.

'The bus driver swerved in an attempt to miss the car but they still collided and as a result both Mrs Harcourt and Mr Ray died.'

At the time of the crash, friends said Mrs Harcourt worked at an amusement arcade on Yarmouth seafront and Mr Ray had spent 13 years at Onward Enterprises in Harleston, a work placement for people with learning difficulties and other disabilities.

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