Driv­ing er­ror killed as­pir­ing ac­tress

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

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

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