Three victims in 70mph crash on icy roads in Northamptonshire were not wearing seatbelts, inquest hears

Three people were killed in the crash on the A427 outside Dingley.Three people were killed in the crash on the A427 outside Dingley.
Three people were killed in the crash on the A427 outside Dingley.
None of the victims in a 70mph car crash on icy roads that killed three people in Northamptonshire earlier this year were wearing seat belts, a coroner has heard.

Ciprian Merla, 22, Gheorghe Sofichi, 22, and Tatania Chiosa, 40, all lost their lives on the A427 outside Dingley when Ciprian lost control of his silver Peugeot and crashed into an oncoming car.

But an inquest into their deaths held yesterday (September 12), the coroner heard how the Peugeot was seen overtaking cars at "dangerous speeds for the conditions" before it lost control and spun into oncoming traffic.

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Other drivers told the inquest that the roads on the morning of February 12 were "dangerous" and iced over.

Ciprian (left) and Gheorghe (right).Ciprian (left) and Gheorghe (right).
Ciprian (left) and Gheorghe (right).

One motorist who witnessed the crash said: "I saw the driver lose control of the car and it swung around.

"It hit the other car pretty much head on. The crash showered me and my wife's car with shrapnel.

"He must have been driving at least 70mph."

The silver Peugeot hit an oncoming blue Ford Focus who was driving in the opposite direction. The driver told the coroner: "It was like [the Peugeot] had hit a black spot on the road. The back end twitched before it lost control completely.

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"There was nothing I could do. I was faced with an oncoming crash.

"When I came to a stop, I managed to climb out my passenger door. My car was facing the direction I had come from. The Peugeot was on its roof. I just wanted to get away from it all."

The three colleagues in the Peugeot were pronounced dead at the scene. None of them had been wearing seatbelts.

A fourth man who was the only survivor from the Peugeot and had been wearing a seatbelt was left fighting for his life in hospital. He has since returned to Romania and is reportedly well.

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Evidence suggests the colleagues could have been late for work at the time of the crash.

The inquest heard the Peugeot's view of oncoming traffic could have been blocked by a van overtaking another car in the events leading up to the crash.

Statements read by the family members of the three colleagues that were read out in the inquest said they are all "sadly missed".