'˜Beautiful' young woman died after crashing car into parked HGV, inquest is told

A YOUNG driver died when her car hit a parked lorry after she swerved to avoid a head-on collision in the road.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 5:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 5:49 pm
Georgina Mannings, who died in an accident on the road near Funtington on August 14
Georgina Mannings, who died in an accident on the road near Funtington on August 14

An inquest was told 22-year-old Georgina Mannings was driving home from work when tragedy struck.

She was driving on the B2146 between East Ashling and Funtington, near Emsworth, on August 14 last year.

An inquest into Georgina’s death, held in Worthing, heard she attempted to overtake a van but lost control of the VW Polo saloon.

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Her boyfriend, Mark Davey, from Gosport, was in the front passenger seat and Georgina’s younger brother was sitting in the back.

Georgina, of Old Rectory Close, Westbourne, died after receiving head injuries, while her brother was seriously injured.

A statement by Mark was read out at the inquest.

It said: ‘We were all wearing out seat belts. I remember everything that happened.

‘We were behind a large van.

‘It was going slowly.

‘We gained speed and went to overtake the white van.

‘We were now in the opposing lane. There was an oncoming vehicle. It was closing in on us. We were both now approaching each other at speed but there wasn’t enough room to complete the over take.’

Mr Davey said Georgina swerved to avoid the oncoming Nissan Qashqui but the car hit the grass verge on the other side of the road ‘at some speed’.

Mark Ellis had parked his 26-tonne DAF heavy good vehicle in a layby – which is separated from the road by a grass verge and trees – to have a break from driving.

In a statement to police he said: ‘I thought someone had reversed into me.

‘I remember seeing smoke coming from the vehicle.

‘I remember how quiet it was.’

The road was closed for more than four hours while emergency services attended the scene.

PC Stuart Medlycott, from Sussex Police serious collision unit, said the VW Polo had been travelling at 25mph at the time of impact – but he could not tell what speed the car was going when it left the road.

‘Georgina attempted to overtake in the face of oncoming traffic,’ he told the inquest. ‘She lost control of the vehicle.’

He said Georgina should have seen the Nissan driving in the opposite direction before she overtook the van, but ‘misjudged’ the distance.

Describing Georgina’s death as ‘tragic’, Martin Milward, assistant coroner for West Sussex, recorded a conclusion that she died from a road traffic collision.

Speaking after the accident in August, parents Richard and Caroline Mannings said they were ‘devastated’ with the loss of their ‘beautiful daughter’.

They said their son had suffered ‘life-changing injuries’ and faced a ‘long and difficult journey ahead’.

They added: ‘We have been humbled with the overwhelming amount of love, support sand prayers, which continue to provide us with great comfort.’