Inquest: Passenger killed on A148 in crash with trailer was not wearing seatbelt

A woman killed when the car she was travelling in hit a JCB towing a sugar beet trailer was not wearing a seat belt, an inquest heard today.

Irina Cirske, a Latvian woman who lived at Cresswell Street, King's Lynn, died on March 1 2010 when her friend, who was giving her a lift for the first time in a Renault Megane, collided with the tractor and trailer at 5.40am on the A148 at Tattersett, near Fakenham.

The driver of the JCB loading shovel, Hugh Scott of Syers Lane, Beeston, near Dereham, was crossing the A148 at Elm Lane.

Mr Scott, a farmer, was acquitted of causing death by careless driving in October at Norwich Crown Court after a review of the evidence.

Today the inquest into Ms Cirske's death heard the 53-year-old died from brain injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Ms Cirske caught a lift that morning with three Lithuanian women who she worked with at a laundry in Fakenham as her normal lift could not make it that day.

Their red Renault Megane headed out of King's Lynn in the dark, but the weather was good and visibility was clear.

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They took over a car on the way and the radio was playing quietly.

Then at the junction with the B1454, Elm Lane, front seat passenger, Gintare Sadauskaite, saw the trailer coming out of the junction. She thought her friend, Gintare Gecevinciene who was driving had seen it too but they did not stop.

She said: 'Gintare screamed out what to do. I shouted 'stop' but it was too late.

'It was a wall in front of us. I lifted my hand to protect my head and lifted my legs.

'I didn't feel any pain. I remember a smashed windscreen shining like gold.'

Driver Miss Gecevinciene told the inquest she only saw the tractor seconds before she hit it.

She said it appeared to come from nowhere.

But this evidence was disputed.

Norfolk Constabulary originally charged Mr Scott with death by careless driving, but a re-examination of the evidence showed the Renault Megane only had one front light working, had a bald tyre and did not appear to brake before the collision.

Mr Scott, whose vehicle had its lights on, told police in interview he saw no lights and no other vehicle when he pulled out of the junction.

PC Simon Hall who investigated the case by creating a re-construction at the junction last summer said although the Renault only had one light on it was there to be seen after Mr Scott pulled out of the junction.

The two other passengers, Gintare Sadauskaite and Izoda Bankauskiene were badly injured.

Coroner William Armstrong, who recorded a neutral verdict, said: 'Everybody should wear a seat belt at all times.'

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