Inquest told father has no memory of Fen crash in which his 13-month-old daughter died

Sean McLoughlin, a former Royal Engineer, in Libya

Sean McLoughlin, a former Royal Engineer, in Libya - Credit: Archant

THE father of a 13-month-old girl who died as a result of a road collision when he was driving still has no memory of the incident, he told a coroner today.

Sean McLoughlin was driving a Peugeot 307 along March Road, Friday Bridge, on September 24 last year when he lost control of the vehicle after negotiating two bends and crossed into the path of an oncoming Ford Mondeo.

Francesca Katherine McLoughlin was correctly strapped into a child seat in the rear nearside of the car. She died at the scene from multiple injuries despite efforts to revive her.

The inquest into Francesca's death, held today in Wisbech, heard that Mr McLoughlin was driving a car belonging to his partner Sara Hibbins at the time of the collision and had no insurance cover to drive the vehicle.

It is thought Mr McLoughlin, a former Royal Engineer, was returning home to March.


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Police collision investigator Pc Pete Bimson told the inquest that the nearside tyres of the Peugeot had mounted the verge before Mr McLoughlin steered to the right and crossed into the carriageway where he struck a Ford Mondeo travelling in the opposite direction.

As a result of the collision, the Peugeot landed on its roof on the verge. The Ford Mondeo, which was being driven by the late Richard Grimes, came to rest on the verge.

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Mr Grimes, the proprietor of Anglia Vehicle Disposal, had been taking the car back to his Nordelph home. His death, in February, was not related to the collision.

Pc Bimson said the cause of the collision was either Mr McLoughlin driving at inappropriate speed, incorrect steering, inattention or distraction.

Robert Doncaster was following Mr Grimes before the collision. He said the oncoming Peugeot car was 'squirming about' and moved on to his side of the road before moving back to the correct side of the carriageway and then returning to the wrong side of the road.

His statement told how he went to the Peugeot car and managed to get Francesca out of the vehicle, but she was lifeless.

Someone at the scene tried to recuscitate Francesca, he said, and he went to the aid of the driver who was trapped but still breathing.

Vehicle examiner Martin Keys' statement said there was no defect to either car that contributed to the collision.

Coroner William Morris said: 'It is clear there were no defects to the road surface or the vehicles. It seems Francesca was correctly installed in a child seat in the rear of the vehicle.

'For some reason the Peugeot lost control, went on the wrong side of the road and collided with the Ford Mondeo.'

Expressing condolences to the family and friends of Francesca, he returned a verdict that she died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Known locally as 'Sean the Sheep', Mr McLoughlin is a former Royal Engineer with the British Army and has served overseas in Libya.

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