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Croydon tram crash inquest: Families say ‘justice has been suffocated’ as jurors return verdict of accidental death | UK News


The households of victims of the Croydon tram crash have mentioned “justice has been suffocated” after jurors on the inquest into the catastrophe returned a verdict of accidental death.

The crash claimed the lives of seven individuals and injured 51 others when the tram derailed in south London on 9 November 2016.

In the seven-week inquest, the jury heard that the tram toppled over and spun off the tracks close to the Sandilands cease after hitting a curve at 45mph (73kph), regardless of a 12mph (20kph) pace restriction being in place.

19-year-old Dane Chinnery.
 Mark Smith and 
 57-year-old football fan Philip Seary. 
 35-year-old Dorota Rynkiewicz.

(From left) Dane Chinnery, Mark Smith, Philip Seary and Dorota Rynkiewicz had been among the many seven individuals killed within the crash

The driver, Alfred Dorris, was arrested however by no means charged following the incident.

The mom of Mark Smith, one of the victims, mentioned “justice has been suffocated”.

Jean Smith, whose solely son was 35 when he died, known as the inquest into the deaths a “farce” and mentioned she was “bitterly disappointed” to not hear proof from administration at Transport for London.

She mentioned: “We have only heard half of the evidence and no one who could potentially have been responsible for the crash has been called as a witness.”

Lawyers for the households are calling on the Attorney General to use to the High Court to grant a brand new inquest.

They may also be contemplating judicial evaluate proceedings towards South London senior coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe, who had refused to name a quantity of individuals who the victims’ households needed to present proof.

They embody senior managers of Tram Operations Ltd – a subsidiary of FirstGroup – and Transport for London, plus different consultants and tram drivers.

Ben Posford, a Partner at Osbornes Law who represented 5 of the seven households, mentioned they’re pissed off that they’ve been “unable to hear from any of those responsible for the systemic failings that led to this terrible and avoidable tragedy”.

Speaking on behalf of the households exterior Croydon Town Hall, he mentioned: “Instead of providing long-awaited answers, the families have been put through more agony.

“Ultimately they really feel that nobody has been held accountable for his or her family members’ deaths.”

Danielle Wynne, the granddaughter of victim Philip Logan, said she was “upset and indignant”.

She said: “It’s not an accident. Someone is guilty.

“We want lessons to be learned so that no other family has to go through this.”

An picture issued by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch of the tram which derailed close to the Sandilands cease

The coroner had informed the jury of eight males and three ladies at Croydon Town Hall that it may ship a verdict of illegal killing or accident.

She despatched the jury out to contemplate its verdict at 1.32pm on 7 July.

The crash claimed the lives of Dane Chinnery, 19; Philip Seary, 57; Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35; Robert Huxley, 63; and Philip Logan, 52, all from New Addington, and Donald Collett, 62, and Mark Smith, 35, each from Croydon.

All of the fatalities had been both totally or partially thrown out of the tram by means of the home windows or doorways when the glass shattered.

Simon French, chief inspector of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, informed the inquest that Mr Dorris could have slipped right into a interval of “microsleep” on the stretch of observe forward of the curve.

He mentioned further signage may have mitigated the chance, and there have been obvious “culture issues” at operator Tram Operations Ltd that meant drivers had been unwilling to confess to dashing or different errors.

There was a earlier incident simply 10 days earlier than the crash when a driver hit the identical bend at 27mph (45kph) and almost overturned, but it surely was insufficiently investigated, Mr French added.

Matthew Gregory, chief government of FirstGroup, which owns Tram Operations Ltd, mentioned the organisation has an “unwavering commitment to safety”.

He mentioned: “Since the incident, we have fully engaged with all subsequent investigations, implementing recommendations that arose from them and will take into account any further learnings that may arise from the inquest.”

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