Father speaks movingly of the 18 year-old daughter “we miss so so much” after inquest verdict

Hannah Yates Hannah Yates

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
11:32 AM

A father spoke movingly today of his 18 year-old daughter who we “miss so so much” after an inquest recorded an accidental death verdict.

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Hannah Yates, a part time assistant at Tesco and a hairdressing student at Peterborough Regional College, died when her car left the North Bank, Whittlesey, on November 3 and ploughed into the Nene.

“Hannah was a beautiful girl,” her father Philip said after the inquest at Fens Business Park, Chatteris. “We miss her so so much; our hearts are broken but we now need to come to terms with it, accept it and get on with our lives.”

He said: “I want to thank everyone for their help and support. People we don’t even know have been amazingly supportive, they really have. And we can take comfort from that.”

Coroner William Morris said: “It is so sad that a young person like Hannah, just entering her adult life should die in this way and I wish to express my sincere condolences.”

He said there were no defects in the road surface or the vehicle and there was nothing to suggest any other vehicle was involved.

“It appears she lost control of the vehicle on a right hand bend for reasons not known. “The most likely reason is driver error.”

He emphasised that Hannah was wearing her seat belt, wearing her glasses and was not on a mobile phone when she lost control of her car.

Fens safety campaigner Graham Chappell attended the inquest and said afterwards her death was five years to the day after he wrote offering his charity’s support to help fund a barrier at the bend where Hannah died.

Within weeks of her death – and that of another motorist- Peterborough City Council moved swiftly to install a barrier.

“I am sorry we did not achieve our aims soon enough,” he said. “Both Hannah and her family have paid the ultimate price but thank God the city council finally realised and acted on their duty of care to make this bend safe.”

He said his campaign group was now pressing for a rail guard to protect motorcyclists and for average speed cameras along the North Bank. The total estimated cost of the extra measures is around £235,000.

The inquest into the death of a Northamptonshire driver who died at the same spot before Christmas is to be held later today.

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