Accidental death verdict on brothers

(from left) Matthew and Mitchell Jacobs, from Chatteris, who were killed in a crash at Elsworth
(from left) Matthew and Mitchell Jacobs, from Chatteris, who were killed in a crash at Elsworth
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TWO brothers were killed in their car despite a lorry driver’s desperate attempts to slow his truck down to avoid them, an inquest has heard.

Mitchell Jacobs (18) and Matthew Jacobs (20), both of Saddlers Way, Chatteris, were killed instantly when the Ford Fiesta driven by Mitchell crashed into a Scania cement mixing truck.

(from left) Matthew and Mitchell Jacobs, from Chatteris, who were killed in a crash at Elsworth

(from left) Matthew and Mitchell Jacobs, from Chatteris, who were killed in a crash at Elsworth

They were driving in Brockley Road, Elsworth near Papworth Everard on Wednesday, August 11.

Huntingdon Coroner’s Office heard on Thursday that it was believed that Mitchell had tried to take evasive action to avoid a cement mixing truck approaching on the correct side of road as he came around a tight bend.

However, he lost control of the car which went up onto a grass verge, into a spin and then crashed into a second cement mixing truck which was following the first truck.

The brothers’ family wept as the inquest heard evidence from Wilfred Watts, who had been driving the cement mixer involved in the crash.

He said: “I was following another lorry and was climbing up the hill at about 30mph to 40mph.

“I came to a bend and a car came over the corner of the verge and straight in front of me.

“I couldn’t stop. I tried but the car was not in control.

“I hit the car sideways. I just got on the brakes. I was in a 26-tonne lorry. I tried to turn away but it didn’t make any difference.”

Accident investigator for Cambridgeshire police, Pc Pete Bimson said that after studying the tachograph from the lorry Mr Watts had managed to slow the truck down from about 38mph to 29mph at the point of impact.

Jonathan Chapman, who was driving a car following the cement mixing truck at the time of the collision, said: “The road takes a 90 degree left and I was about 30 metres behind at the time.

“I remember seeing a black car come straight across the verge and across the cement mixer.

“Then I lost sight of it in front of the mixer. The truck stopped very quickly, and so did I.

“I got out and ran to see if there was anything that could be done.

“The truck had hit the passenger side of the Fiesta. I remember thinking it had hit so hard that the side of the car was almost non-existent.

“I saw two young lads in the car. One of them was breathing, the other was not.

“I remember the airbags had gone off, the engine was still running and the music was still on.”

Coroner Dr Sam Bass reading from the post mortem reports said both men had suffered a number of serious injuries in the collision.

He said that “death would have been almost instantaneous” following the crash.

Dr Bass offered his condolences to the brothers’ family, describing the accident as a “horrible tragedy”.

He said: “There is nothing to suggest that there was anything wrong with the any of the vehicles involved or that the lorry was being driven in anything other than the correct manner.

“There is only speculation as to what happened but my feeling is that seeing a large lorry coming, the driver would have taken some action and was unfortunate that there was another lorry directly behind.”

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.