THREE British Airways cabin crew were killed in a road smash on New Year’s Eve after the driver ploughed into a lorry while double the drink-drive limit.
Rachel Clark, 20, was ejected through the glass sunroof while driver Dominic Fell, 23, and best friend Joe Finnis, 25, died in the wreckage, a coroner heard.
The friends were celebrating the arrival of the New Year when their Toyota Yaris failed to stop at a crossroads and ploughed into a lorry.
The coroner ruled that the trio died as a result of the road accident near Heathrow Airport where they worked.
Ms Clark – who was not wearing her seatbelt – was found four metres from the wrecked car on Bedfont Road in Stanwell, Surrey.
The triple tragedy happened minutes before midnight as Mr Fell and Mr Finnis had left a party to pick up female colleagues.
A fourth passenger, Lauren Feeney, survived the horror crash after being cut from the crumpled car and rushed to hospital.
Lorry driver Inderjit Sangha was travelling a 3km journey picking up and dropping off loads before the horrific crash.
He told the coroner: “I saw a white car with its lights on, it wasn’t indicating and it did not stop at the give-way point.
“I could not do anything to avoid the collision. I turned to the right when I saw the car before I heard a loud bang and then darkness.”
The heavy goods lorry mounted the kerb and onto a tree lined verge before crashing into the Longford river.
Mr Sangha was taken to hospital suffering from shock but did not sustain any injuries, the inquest heard.
In a statement, fellow cabin crew member and host of the New Year party, Lucy Pemberton, recalled her final moments with the boys.
She told the inquest in Woking, Surrey: “On New Year’s Eve my housemates arranged to have a party to see in the new year with friends.
“Two people coming were Dom Fell and Joe Finnis who were both BA staff.
“Dom and Joe were best friends, they were inseparable. Dom used insulin and used a machine which he had been charging in my bedroom.
“We were getting ready for the party and I saw Dom with a bottle of Budweiser but he was staying over so I didn’t think anything of it.
“At 11.15pm, I caught the boys in the hall trying to sneak out. I asked them where they were going and they said they were going to pick up some girls and they would be back before the New Year rang in.”
Lucy explained that the boys were using Google Maps to walk the route, before saying “sweet, it’s five minutes away”.
“They both went out the front door – that was the last time I saw my friend Dom,” Lucy added.
Paramedics rushed to the scene and Ms Clark was pronounced dead at 12.05am.
Pathologist Michael Hall confirmed she died from shock and haemorrhage, having suffered deep cuts to her liver, spleen and stomach.
Emergency services cut front seat passenger Mr Finnis from the car, declaring his death at 12.27am.
Drunk-driver Mr Fell was declared dead shortly after.
In a statement, toxicologist Hassan Kurimbokus explained that Mr Fell, from Grimsby, was close to double the drink-drive limit which caused “risk taking behaviour, decreased inhibitions, increased confidence and a lack of judgement”.
In addition, the 23-year-old had Type 1 diabetes and, at the time of his death, had high blood sugar levels.
Toxicology tests also revealed that Mr Finnis, from Southampton, had mild levels of alcohol in his system but this did not contribute to his death, and Ms Clark, from Twickenham, had not been drinking at all.
PC Dominic Gibson of Surrey Police explained that the automatic Toyota Yaris was speeding at 50mph on the wrong side of 30pmh Long Lane, before it “failed to give way”.
He added: “The car tumbled side over side, tipping onto its glass roof causing a catastrophic crushing before coming to rest upside down, partially on its side.
“The rotation meant that a rear passenger was ejected through the roof opening.
“The lorry crossed a double height kerb, into a tree lined verge before crashing into the river embankment where it came to rest.”
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Coroner Simon Wickens concluded the inquest by warning of the dangers drink-driving.
He said: “This incident occurred not long before the start of the new decade. No doubt driving while impaired played a factor in this tragedy.
“This collision has torn a hole through three families’ lives, friends, work colleagues and the community. It shows just how devastating driving while impaired can be.”
Following the tragedy, almost £100,000 was raised after a British Airways colleague member set up a fundraising page.
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