Mum describes tragic double death crash scene

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The first woman at the scene of a horror smash which killed two teenagers has spoken about how she rushed to help.

Christine Smart spoke as the trial of Jordan Clayton, 20, who is accused of two counts of death by dangerous driving, after a fatal collision that claimed the lives of his passengers Jade Pickering and Tia Guye.

Mrs Smart was on her way home after picking up her teenage son when she came across Clayton’s Ford Focus and a Mercedes coach, which moments earlier had collided at the A6 Blackrod bypass.

Recalling what she saw, she said: “I stopped my car and got out and went to the vehicles to see if everyone was ok. I saw the driver was half in and half out of his vehicle and there was three young girls in the car. The driver was very shocked.”

Clayton is accused of ignoring a number of warning signs that prohibited him from turning right at the A6 junction with Station Road in September 2009.

It is the prosecution’s case that he drove into the path of the coach, killing the two 16-year-old girls, who lived in Eaves Lane, Chorley, and attended Runshaw College together.

Mrs Smart said: “I turned the ignition and the radio off and asked if they were alright.

“The young lad had got out of the car and was just walking around me.

“I leaned into the car and asked if the others were alright and told them help was on its way.

“The lad asked me if they were ok. I said they were.

“That was it. His legs went and I lay him down on the floor.”

Clayton has already pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of death by careless driving.

He claims that the coach, which was carrying nine passengers back to Chorley and Preston after a trip to London, had appeared to be heading straight for him, and he was ‘dazzled’ by its headlights.

He said he had panicked and turned right as he needed to “get out of the way”.

Mrs Smart said: “I stayed with him (Clayton).

“I asked his name and he told me it was Jordan.

“I asked him where he was coming from.

“He said he was coming from Chorley and was going to the Reebok. He just said he didn’t see it.

“Someone asked how fast he was going and he said it was only about 3mph because he had only just left the lights.

“He just kept asking about the passengers still in the car. He also wanted me to phone his mum.

“We just talked in general about anything to keep him conscious.”

The court also heard from accident investigator Gary Roberts, who told the jury skid marks on the road showed the coach was in the left hand lane when the driver applied emergency breaks.

When the collision occurred the coach was going no faster than 37mph.


- For more coverage o this case, see next week’s Guardian.