A mom and her three kids died when their automobile swerved into the trail of a “fully-laden” lorry on the opposite aspect of the highway, an inquest heard.
Zoe Powell, 29, along with daughters Amelia, 4, and Phoebe, eight, and six-year-old son, Simeon, had been killed within the crash on the A40 close to Oxford at round 9.50pm on 12 October 2020.
Mrs Powell’s husband, Josh, and their youngest baby, Penny, 18 months, had been additionally passengers within the household’s Subaru folks provider – however survived the crash.
The crash was possible brought on by “fatigue and distraction”, mentioned senior coroner Darren Salter at Oxford Coroner’s Court docket.
Mrs Powell was driving the automobile, which had a specialist automobile seat system connected to allow the 4 kids to sit down subsequent to one another on the again seat.
The coroner mentioned he couldn’t rule out the chance that the crash was a “deliberate act” – however added that he didn’t take into account it possible.
There was “no proof” that Mrs Powell had ideas of harming herself or her kids, he instructed the court docket.
“It is extra more likely to be attributable to fatigue or distraction, or a mix of the 2, and that the steering enter was driver error,” Mr Salter mentioned.
“The cruise management was engaged and on the final second the accelerator was pressed as an alternative of the brake, which is a phenomenon typically seen in these circumstances.”
The coroner reached a conclusion of highway visitors collision as the reason for demise for Mrs Powell and her three kids.
Their deaths occurred when their automobile “crashed on to the flawed aspect of the highway and collided with an oncoming lorry”.
Railway engineer Mr Powell mentioned in an announcement how he had no reminiscence of the crash.
In an emotional tribute, he described feeling an “abundance of loss”.
Lorry driver Adao Patricio mentioned his lorry and cargo weighed 18,000kg every, totalling 36,000kg. He instructed how he had “nowhere to go” when the Subaru swerved into the lane he was driving on.
An investigation discovered no points with Mr Patricio’s driving earlier than the collision and there was “no clear cause” why the Subaru swerved into the trail of his lorry, the inquest heard.
PC Murray Maclean, a forensic collision investigator, mentioned Mr Patricio had “no actual probability” of avoiding what the automobile.
In an announcement issued by Thames Valley Police, the households mentioned there was a lot they’d “by no means absolutely perceive concerning the crash”.
“The chance that such a small distraction might have brought about such a horrific accident ought to act as a painful reminder for everybody that roads are harmful locations; the actions of a single second have wrecked a complete household and had a long-lasting impression on everybody round them,” they mentioned.