Crash passengers could have survived

A POLICE officer said there was no doubt in his mind that if a Portuguese family had been wearing seatbelts, when the car they were in crashed, they would have survived.

A POLICE officer said there was no doubt in his mind that if a Portuguese family had been wearing seatbelts, when the car they were in crashed, they would have survived.

Pc Jerry Abigail made the claim at the inquests of 30-year-old Jose Costa and his daughter Erika Andrade who died on the A14 at Coddenham on February 26.

The couple were just two of six people to be travelling in a Peugeot 206 from Luton airport to Ipswich when the accident happened at 1.26am.

Mr Costa, a factory worker who lived in Bulstrode Road, Ipswich, had been to the airport to collect his family members, including eight-year-old Erika, from Portugal to begin a new life in Ipswich.


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The car in front of them hit one of three deer crossing the road and when the Peugeot went over the carcass of the animal it spun out of control.

Mr Abigail said: “The Peugeot struck the animal and rotated anti-clockwise. It hit the nearside of the road and then some trees.

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“All five passengers of the car were ejected out of the rear window. Only the driver, who was wearing his seatbelt, remained in the vehicle.

“There is no doubt in my mind that had those people been wearing seatbelts they would have survived. They may have had injuries but the crash would not have been fatal.”

Erika died from multiple injuries and Mr Costa died of head injuries. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Greater Suffolk coroner Peter Dean told those present at the inquest, at Endeavour House, Ipswich, on Tuesday : “This was a tragic accident which took the lives of two members of the same family.”

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

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