Teenagers killed by oncoming car

Three teenagers from Lowestoft died after a car crossed double white lines on the A12 and crashed into their vehicle, an inquest heard.

Three teenagers from Lowestoft died after a car crossed double white lines on the A12 and crashed into their vehicle, an inquest heard today.

Sisters, Claire and Jennifer Stoddart, aged 18 and 15, and their friend Carla Took, also 18, were driving home from a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Ipswich in a Vauxhall Astra on July 1 after celebrating finishing their exams.

But the inquest opening at Ipswich Crown Court heard that a Renault Laguna travelling in the other direction “crossed the double white lines system” into the oncoming carriageway and collided head on with their Astra.

Simon Bonner, 40, from the Yoxford area, who was a passenger in the Laguna, was also killed in the incident, while a passenger from each car remains in hospital with serious injuries.

The crash happened at about 1am, on a stretch of the A12 at Blythburgh, near Southwold. The road was blocked for more than seven hours while emergency services and the air and sea rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham were at the scene.

The Stoddart sisters and Miss Took had been to the concert at Portman Road, the home of Ipswich Town Football Club, to celebrate the elder girls finishing their A-level exams.

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Another occupant of the Astra, Sarah Mitchell remains in intensive care at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, while Adam Cox, who was also in the car, sustained serious hand injuries and was treated at Ipswich Hospital but has now been discharged.

The driver of the Laguna sustained injuries to his lower leg and foot and rear passenger Kim Abbott remains in hospital.

The inquest was adjourned by Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean to release the deceased to their families for funerals and for further investigations into the cause of the accident.

A 21-year-old man, believed to be the driver of the Laguna, who has not been named, has been arrested and bailed in connection with the crash.

A memorial service for Claire and Jennifer Stoddart is to be held at the Lowestoft Community Church, Hadenham Road, on the South Lowestoft industrial estate next Monday at 3pm.

The funeral for Carla Took takes place at St Michael's Church, Oulton, at 1.30pm on Thursday July 20.