Tragic soldier’s overtaking ‘misjudgement’ before A16 collision in Pinchbeck

Private Hazel Fox.
Private Hazel Fox.
  • Young soldier lost control of her car just three weeks after passing her driving test, inquest hears

A young soldier died after a three-vehicle collision on the A16 in Pinchbeck just three weeks after passing her driving test, an inquest has heard.

Private Hazel Fox (20), of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, suffered “severe head injuries” after her blue Renault Clio collided with a E-Class Mercedes car and Scania lorry near the West Marsh Road roundabout on Friday, February 26.

Hazel Fox either failed to see the line of vehicles travelling towards her, misjudged the speed of them and the time she had to complete the maneouvre or failed to appreciate the overtaking capabilities of her vehicle

PC Raymond Holloway, Lincolnshire Police Collision Investigation Team

During a hearing at Boston Coroner’s Court on Friday, South Lincolnshire Assistant Coroner Marianne Johnson said that Ms Fox lost control of her car while trying to pull out of an overtaking maneouvre after seeing a HGV approach her.

The inquest heard evidence from Garry Cooke of Spalding who was driving the lorry which collided with the car driven by Ms Fox, a trainee soldier with the Royal Logistics Corps.

Mr Cooke, of Spalding, said: “I remember seeing a small, blue car just as the A16 into Spalding started to bend.

“The traffic in front of me parted and I thought an ambulance was coming, judging by the way the vehicles parted.

“Then I saw the blue car swerve in front of a vehicle it was overtaking before it looked like the car was going off the road. But it then came up on my side of the lorry which was when we hit each other. I just remember thinking ‘This is going to hurt’, then bracing myself and hearing a hell of bang before I ran off the road and into a dyke.”

Meanwhile, Police Constable Raymond Holloway from Lincolnshire Police’s Collision Investigation Team said that Ms Fox may have misjudged “the overtaking capabilities” of her car.

PC Holloway said: “Ms Fox was attempting to overtake the Mercedes but, at this point, it should have been obvious to her that there was a HGV vehicle travelling towards her and so she had ample time to abandon her maneouvre.

“She either failed to see the line of vehicles travelling towards her, misjudged the speed of them and the time she had to complete the maneouvre or failed to appreciate the overtaking capabilities of her vehicle.”

In summing up, the Coroner said Ms Fox lost control of her car while trying to overtake the Mercedes and then collided with the lorry.

Ms Johnson added that all three vehicles were in roadworthy condition and Ms Fox’s status as a “relatively new driver, having passed her test three weeks before the collison”, might have been a factor.