FENLAND: No one will face charges after crash in which three Latvian workers killed

THREE Latvian agency workers died after the people carrier they were travelling in was in collision with a skip lorry on the A141 near Chatteris, an inquest heard today. Deputy Coroner for North East Cambridgeshire, David Osborne recorded

THREE Latvian agency workers died after the people carrier they were travelling in was in collision with a skip lorry on the A141 near Chatteris, an inquest heard today.

Deputy Coroner for North East Cambridgeshire, David Osborne recorded a verdict of accident and said: "There is conflicting evidence to the exact sequence of events leading up to this tragic accident."

The inquest heard the three men, Dainis Drevins, 38, Mihails Bazanovs, 28 and Aleksandrs Puzanskis, 46, who were all living in Wisbech at the time and had been travelling home with four others in the people carrier, following a shift at a factory in Ely.

They had been due to leave at 5pm, on July 24, but the battery on the vehicle, was flat and they had to wait for another one, so did not leave until around an hour later.


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The inquest heard conflicting evidence from witnesses about the moments leading up to the collision, as some witnessed the people carrier cross into the lane of the skip lorry, while another witness said the lorry crossed slightly over the white line and into the path of the people carrier.

The collision happened at around 6.48pm on the A141 at the Isle of Ely Way near to the Dock Bridge, all three men died at the scene.

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Witness Terrance Lomax was in the third car behind the skip lorry which was heading in the direction of Chatteris, and he said he saw the people carrier come across from its lane into the path of the skip lorry.

Matthew Ayling who was travelling behind the skip lorry, told the inquest he had seen the lorry deviate over the line of the carriageway before the crash.

A statement given to the police, which was taken from the lorry driver Dennis Ellingham was read to the court, and in it he had said: "As far as I can remember I was on my side of the road."

He told the officers he could not understand why the people carrier came over on to his side of the road. He said why it came on to his side he did not know and for what reason he did not know.

He said: "I swerved to miss him, but it was not enough."

He told the court he had been driving lorries for more than 25 years.

In a statement also read to the inquest the driver of the people carrier, Jevgenijs Samohins, of Latvia, told police the skip lorry had gone onto Mr Samohins side of the road and that Mr Samohins had moved to the right to avoid him.

He said the lorry had crossed into his path, so he flashed him, the lorry moved back, but then again moved back onto Mr Samohins side, and it was then that Mr Samohin moved right to avoid him.

Mr Samohins, had arrived in the UK four days before the accident, and said he had experience of driving on English roads when he had been in the country before.

Mr Samohins, is still in hospital and is now a tetraplegic as a result of the accident.

The inquest heard from a report by the crash investigation unit at Cambridgeshire Police that concluded that at the time of the collision the Toyota people carrier had swerved right into the path of the on-coming Scania skip lorry.

Speed was not a factor in the accident. The people carrier had a brake imbalance, but this was unlikely to have contributed to the collision.

PC Tim Kirkby, read his report to the inquest, and said there had been contradictory witness evidence over the exact sequence of events.

But he said that The Toyota people carrier had swerved right into the path of the on-coming Scania skip lorry.

All three men died at the scene of multiple injuries, the four other people in the people carrier suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

In summing up Mr Osborne said there had been conflicting evidence to the exact sequence of events leading up to this tragic accident.

He said: "I am satisfied on the evidence I have heard today that the only proper verdict conclusion I can come to is one of accident."

Both drivers, Dennis Ellingham, from Essex who was driving the skip lorry and Jevgenijs Samohins, of Latvia, will not face any charges in relation to the crash, police confirmed after the inquest.

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