COLNE: Police ‘shocked’ as fatal smash witness tried to take photos

THE third day of an inquest into the death of three Colne friends, heard from police who attended the crash which killed Jessica Foxley (21), Tom Petty (25) and Philip Wright (25).

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 25th November 2010, 8:37 am

PC Rachael Wells received a call to attend the accident in Skipton Old Road, around 11 p.m. on July 25th, the inquest was told.

PC Wells said she and her colleague, PC Lee Bradford, were on the scene within minutes and saw the blue Ford Focus the friends were driving had collided with a wall and flipped onto its roof.

A number of people were already on the scene, including Patrick Feeney and Lee Dale, who denied witnessing the crash, but said they had been passing and wanted to help.

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PC Wells said: “The road is unlit so when I arrived I instructed Mr Dale to manoeuvre his Rover to shine the headlights on the Ford Focus.

“I could see Mr Feeney was lying underneath the vehicle talking to the backseat female passenger, stroking her hair and trying to reassure her.”

PC Wells told the inquest she noticed all three occupants of the car were wearing seatbelts when she arrived, but later saw Jessica’s seatbelt had been undone.

The inquest also heard from PC Bradford, who spoke to the ambulance service by phone shortly after his arrival on the scene.

He was assured an ambulance was on its way but couldn’t recall how long it took to arrive.

PC Bradford told the inquest that later, when Jessica’s body was being removed from the car, Mr Dale attempted to take photos of her on his phone. PC Bradford said he was “amazed and shocked” by his behaviour and confiscated the phone.

Mr Feeney and Mr Dale were arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving as well as a number of other driving offences. They were later cleared of any involvement in the accident.

Mr Dale has since died, and Mr Feeney was unable to give evidence at the inquest as he is in Spain.

The results of post mortem examinations carried out on the three friends by Dr Zuhair Twaij were read out at the inquest. He reported all had suffered “multiple injuries” in the crash and sudden death was a likely result.