Schoolgirl killed after being clipped by lorry's oversized wing mirror
A coroner has slammed a car breakdown firm after a schoolgirl was killed when she was clipped by an oversized wing mirror guard on a 7.5-tonne lorry. Holly Chevassut, 14, was struck by the Izuzu flatbed lorry while she walked along a dark unlit country road. She suffered a “traumatic spinal cord injury” after the crash on Plough Lane in Harbury, Warks., on October 31, 2018.
She was rushed to hospital but died two days later. An inquest into her death found she was hit by a plastic guard encasing the truck’s wing mirror. On the day of the incident Holly was walking down a narrow road with no footpaths at around 5.30pm.
It was dark and as the truck, owned by GRS Recovery, drove past her, Holly was clipped by the mirror protector.
By law, wing mirrors must stick out less than 20cms from the widest part of the vehicle but the inquest heard the guards on GRS vans exceeded that. Assistant Coroner for Warwickshire Tom Leeper has written to the truck firm ordering an investigation into the mirror guards. In his coroner’s report he said: “During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern.
“In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths could occur unless action is taken. “GRS continues to operate vehicles with mirrors and guards the height of which are under two metres from the road surface and which project more than 20cms from the widest part of those vehicles. “Such a configuration creates a risk of personal injury and death to people overtaken by these vehicles.”
GRS Recovery confirmed they had now altered the mirrors and guards on their vans to comply with the regulations.
After the hearing, Holly’s family paid tribute to their “beautiful daughter”. In a statement, they said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter. “Holly was a wonderful young woman; talented, creative, funny and beautiful.
“She made us laugh, sometimes cry and we are so very proud of her, of all she achieved and all that she might have become.
“She is much-loved by her family and friends and will be greatly missed.
“We would like to thank all the emergency services and the staff at University Hospital in Coventry for the care and respect they gave to Holly and us, the many friends of Holly for their thoughtful and caring messages, and our friends and family for their ongoing love and support.”
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