Driving error killed aspiring actress
AN ACTRESS and singer with a bright career ahead of her died after overtaking at a blind spot on a dark road and crashing into a tree.
An inquest was told that 24-year-old Sophie Spencer’s singing and dancing career was taking off when the tragedy occurred.
She had just signed with a singing agent and was enjoying her studies at Manchester School of Acting.
It was on her way back from an acting class to her family home on St Austell Avenue in Macclesfield that Sophie made the fatal decision to overtake the car in front of her, an inquest at Warrington Town Hall heard.
Sophie was travelling along Macclesfield Road at Over Alderley in her Peugeot 206 when she began the manoeuvre approaching the brow of a hill on a stretch of road painted with solid white lines forbidding overtaking.
She didn’t see a Fiat Panda travelling towards her until it was too late and swerved back across to her side of the road before careering off the road into a tree.
Paramedics rushed to the scene around 7.30pm on November 24 but Sophie was trapped in the car. She could not be cut free quickly enough for attempts to resuscitate her and was pronounced dead at 8.09pm.
Coroner Alan Moore recorded that she died of multiple injuries.
He said: “She overtook near the brow of the hill which obscured her view of oncoming traffic. Very sadly the manoeuvre was misjudged and went tragically and fatally wrong.”
David Ketteringham who was driving behind Sophie said: “It was dark and you can’t see along the road where she overtook.
“I saw the car swerving back onto its side of the road. It looked like a violent manoeuvre and a desperate grab for the wheel.”
Joseph Milne-Taylor who was driving the Panda said she had finished over- taking the car before she swerved but accident investigators said they could not be sure.
The car she was overtaking did not stop and the driver has never been identified – something Sophie’s family have struggled to come to terms with.
Sophie’s mum Lena told the hearing: “It upsets us as to why that car didn’t stop.”
PC John Edwards said Sophie was travelling at 31mph when she hit the tree and he did not think she was speeding.
Her dad Peter said she was a good driver, adding: “She’d done that route hundreds of times.”
●● Sophie Spencer overtook another car and crashed into a tree