COLNE: Three friends were ‘still breathing’ after horror crash

THE three Colne friends tragically killed after their Ford Focus collided with a stone wall flipping it upside down were still breathing when help arrived, an inquest has heard.

Wednesday, 24th November 2010, 1:58 pm

Passer-by Clare Woodhead was one of the first to arrive on the scene in Skipton Old Road, Colne, and told the inquest at Burnley Town Hall how she got out of the car to try to help passengers Jessica Foxley (21), Tom Petty (25) and Philip Wright (25).

The former physiotherapist was travelling home on the evening of Saturday, July 25th, last year, shortly after 11 p.m. when she saw the blue car on its roof at the junction of Long Lane.

In a statement given to police after the crash, Mrs Woodhead said: “I could see all three were wearing seatbelts. I told my daughter to phone 999.”

She said she saw a young girl in the back wearing a party dress.

Coroner Richard Taylor read out Mrs Woodhead’s statement to the gallery: “I took her pulse. She was breathing but was very pale and upside down. The front passenger was bleeding from the mouth, and the driver, I could feel a very weak pulse. I told the police all three had weak pulses.”

Mrs Woodhead told the coroner on her approach she had seen a stationary car at the junction of Skipton Old Road and Long Lane.

She said: “Because I had seen a vehicle stationary I thought there might have been something that had happened. I slowed down and drove on, when I looked back I saw the car upside down. The first person I saw was a male standing at the car, I thought he had been in the car but as I approached him I realised there were other people in the car.”

She later waved down another car and got it to position itself so the lights were on the Focus and continued to assist before paramedics arrived.

The harrowing details caused family members to break down turning to hug one another while gripping hands.

Jessica’s father, Paul, thanked Mrs Woodhead for her efforts and said: “I would just like to thank Clare for what she did from ourselves and the other families.”

Mrs Woodhead then addressed the families and emotionally said: “Your children did not know anything about it.”