Inquests into road ice deaths open

INQUESTS into the death of two young people killed in a road accident at Witnesham have been formally opened and adjourned.

INQUESTS into the death of two young people killed in a road accident at Witnesham have been formally opened and adjourned.

Driver Henry Wingate, 24, from Norwich, died instantly in the crash on the B1077 when his Renault Clio left the road.

Rear seat passenger Kirsten Duffus, 19, from Diss, died in Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge two days later.

Kirsten was the girlfriend of Mr Wingate's brother Max who was also travelling in the car and suffered minor injuries. A fourth person was also injured.

The four were travelling to Ipswich for the funeral of Mr Wingate's grandfather last Wednesday morning when the accident happened.

The road had not been gritted that morning and a driver who had used it less than an hour earlier described it as “being like an ice rink.”

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Barbara Wardropper, 60, from Earl Stonham said she had never been so terrified in her life as she drove along the road and that conditions were the worst she had encountered in 40 years of driving.

Police had asked Suffolk County Council to send out their gritters less than half an hour before the accident.

The Inquest was opened by the coroner and was adjourned until a date to be decided to allow further evidence to be collected.

The opening of the inquests will allow the families of the victims to organise their funerals.

The Evening Star has asked Suffolk Police and the county council questions about the state of the road at the time of the accident.

Both organisations have declined to make any further comment until the full inquest is held because their findings are likely to be crucial evidence at the hearing.

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