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Two died in catastrophic car fire after Porsche spun out of control

Emergency workers were unable to help a man and woman who died when their sports car burst into flames after it spun out of control, an inquest has heard. Alan Brown, 29, a computer business analyst, and Gabriella Trandafir, 29, who worked at Addenbrooke’s, were travelling on Brinkley Road near Six Mile Bottom, around 10.30am on December 8 when they collided with a silver Volkswagen Golf GTI. They died of multiple injuries, including head injuries and burns, after their silver convertible Porsche Boxster hit a grass verge at speed and span into the path of the car travelling in the opposite directon.

The Porsche was damaged on its passenger side, then travelled 90 degrees through a hedge into a field where it caught fire. Mr Brown and Ms Trandafir, both of Lilywhite Drive, Cambridge, died at the scene. The driver of the Golf, Adrian Manden, believed to be in his 40s, suffered serious injuries in the crash and was taken to Addenbrooke’s.

Appearing at Huntingdon Coroner’s Court, on Wednesday (May 15), lead accident investigator PC John Blood, of Cambridgeshire police, described how Mr Brown lost control of his Porsche while negotiating a left hand bend at excessive speed. Mr Blood said: “The car mounted the nearside verge and caused the vehicle to turn clockwise. The rotating Porsche crossed the eastbound lane into the path of the Volkswagen.

Police at the scene of a double fatal collision in Brinkley Road, South Cambridgeshire

“The Porsche ignited and there was significant damage to all but the nearside.

The tyres and the interior was completely destroyed by fire.” Mr Brown estimated Mr Brown was travelling at approximately 65mph in a 60mph limit zone, when he hit the verge. He said “driver error” was a factor.

No mechanical faults were found on either car.

Following the crash several people described how the sports car was engulfed in flames and completely unapproachable.

In a witness statement the first emergency worker at the scene described being aware of “pops and bangs” coming from the car before the fire took hold. She said: “There was at least one person in the car, in the driver’s seat, but they were motionless.” A member of the public who called 999 said Mr Manden was staggering onto the road and by the time he brought him to safety the Porsche was engulfed in flames.

Pathologists later relied on CT scans and dental records to determine the identities of the victims and cause of death.

Two died in catastrophic car fire after Porsche spun out of controlPolice at the scene of a serious crash in Brinkley Road, South Cambridgeshire

Witness statements

Mr Manden, who was travelling into Cambridge to meet a friend at the time of the crash, was estimated to be travelling at around 40mph. He later told police he saw the Porsche’s nearside wheels “veer into the muddy bank and, in a diagonal position, straddle both lanes.” He said: “I had no where to go.”

In the lead up to the crash two witnesses reported Mr Brown appeared to be driving at speed and had overtaken them. A scaffolding truck driver told how Mr Brown overtook him at what he estimated to be 80mph, as he was heading to a job on Brinkley Road. He said: “The car seemed to be bouncing on the road.

It was very noisy and seemed to be souped up.” He recalled remarking to a passenger, “‘He is going for it, isn’t he?'”. After hearing the written evidence the senior coroner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, David Heming, ruled both parties died in a “catastrophic event” from “multiple injuries”. He said: “There seems to be compelling evidence the vehicle was in excess of the speed limit.

“It’s a momentary loss of concentration sometimes that has devastating consequences. “That is the tragedy of this situation that two young people have lost their lives. “It’s been a thorough investigation.

There is compelling evidence the Porsche has come from its side of the road.

Clearly the Volkswagen was being driven in a correct manner.”

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