Tributes paid to tragic Alex

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY DAVID HOLMES

PAST and present pupils have re­mem­bered a fel­low stu­dent trag­i­cally killed in a road ac­ci­dent that also in­jured two Run­corn grand­par­ents and their 11-year-old grand­daugh­ter last Christ­mas.

Friends of Alex Tat­ter­sall, 16, gath­ered at Helsby High School hall, where she was a six­th­former, to share mem­o­ries, pho­to­graphs and spe­cial mes­sages.

Alex, from Man­ley, was a front seat pas­sen­ger in a blue VW Polo driven by her sis­ter Zoe when it was in­volved in a col­li­sion with a red Nis­san Mi­cra in Man­ley Road, near Helsby, about 4.20pm on Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 16, 2015.

She sadly died at Liver­pool’s Wal­ton Cen­tre two days later due to trau­matic brain in­jury and cer­vi­cal spine frac­ture.

A post­ing on Helsby High School web­site, en­ti­tled ‘Re­mem­ber­ing Alex’, reads: “We all greatly miss her and she lives on in our mem­o­ries, es­pe­cially her de­ter- mi­na­tion, strength of char­ac­ter, self­less­ness and her friend­ship and sup­port.”

Cur­rent and ex-stu­dents were in­vited to pay their own tributes in the school hall and to bring flow­ers, if they wished, to be taken to Alex’s fam­ily gar­den or her grave af­ter­wards.

The in­quest heard a build-up of mud on the ru­ral road may have con­trib­uted to the ac­ci­dent, lead­ing Dr Janet Napier, as­sis­tant deputy coro­ner for Cheshire, to or­der an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

A col­li­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tor told the in­quest held in Septem­ber that grip was ● sat­is­fac­tory in the tracks where the road wheels would nor­mally travel but trac­tion could have been lost had the wheels clipped the mud.

Dr Napier learned mud was a prob­lem be­cause of an exit from a farmer’s field and an ad hoc lay-by. At the time of the ac­ci­dent the farmer had placed a warn­ing about mud on the road but fac­ing one di­rec­tion only.

The coro­ner asked for Cheshire West And Ch­ester Coun­cil (CWAC) to in­ves­ti­gate what could be done to mit­i­gate prob­lems with mud on the road whether through proper sig­nage, more fre­quent check­ing of the road or mak­ing the lay-by per­ma­nent to pre­vent mud be­ing spread.

Alex’s sis­ter, who was ac­com­pa­nied to the in­quest by her mum Deb­bie, wasn’t speed­ing on the 60mph road and was es­ti­mated to be trav­el­ling at 41mph. How­ever, the coro­ner heard con­sid­er­a­tion was al­ready be­ing given to re­duc­ing the speed limit to 50mph.

Alex’s father Adrian de­scribed Alex as his ‘beau­ti­ful daugh­ter’ dur­ing the hear­ing but was too up­set to con­tinue.

She had planned to go to univer­sity and wanted to join the po­lice. She also had a strong sense of right and wrong and was ‘de­ter­mined she wanted to make a dif­fer­ence’. Alex had many school friends at Helsby High and ‘a lov­ing boyfriend’.

This win­ter CWaC is run­ning a Road Care scheme invit­ing peo­ple to re­port any prob­lems on the roads of West Cheshire by vis­it­ing: www. cheshirewe­s­tand­ch­ester/gov.uk/road­care

Alex Tat­ter­sall died aged 16

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