‘We’ll never know why’

Staines & Ot­ter­shaw: We only have spec­u­la­tion why McLaren boys’ car went out of con­trol, says coro­ner

Surrey Herald/News - - NEWS - By Matt Strud­wick

TWO McLaren work­ers died after their speed­ing sports car went out of con­trol in wet con­di­tions and crashed, an in­quest has heard. Oliver Bour­ton, 22, from Sut­ton, was killed when his blue Subaru Im­prezza went side­ways into an on­com­ing Ford Tran­sit van on the A320 Guild­ford Road on Jan­uary 29. His co-worker and friend, Dar­ren Hayes, 19, from Staines, was taken to St Peter’s Hos­pi­tal in Chert­sey but was pro­nounced dead on ar­rival at 12.54pm. Wok­ing Coro­ner’s Court was told on Fri­day that the pair had left the For­mula 1 team’s Wok­ing base to­gether. They were head­ing to­wards Ot­ter­shaw dur­ing their lunch break when Oliver, who was driv­ing, lost con­trol of his mod­i­fied sports car at a speed of 64mph in a 50mph zone. No drugs or al­co­hol were de­tected in ei­ther man and both were wear­ing their seat­belts. In­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer PC Jo Robins told the court that although there was a pud­dle 35 me­tres wide in the road, she did not be­lieve it con­trib­uted to the loss of con­trol. “There’s some dis­tance from that large pud­dle and where you see the loss of con­trol on the CCTV,” she said. “We don’t know if he went through it at all. “Driv­ing through stand­ing wa­ter can cause prob­lems, par­tic­u­larly at speed. Ef­fec­tively, you are less likely to have prob­lems with stand­ing wa­ter if you are go­ing much slower.” Fish van driver Ter­rence Webb, who sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries dur­ing the ac­ci­dent, de­scribed see­ing smoke from the car’s tyres. “As I ap­proached the bend, I saw a Subaru com­ing to­wards me, fish­tail­ing a bit and I could hear screech­ing brakes,” he said. “I was ba­si­cally think­ing what could I do? But there was noth­ing I could do. “It was fish­tail­ing, com­ing side­ways. It smacked in front of me, the air bag went off and that was it. “I was aware that road could flood so had slowed down to 40mph and I was pre-empt­ing that pud­dle.” As­sis­tant coro­ner Si­mon Wikens ruled that Oliver and Dar­ren had died due to fa­tal in­juries they suf­fered in a mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent. “Oliver Bour­ton and Dar­ren Hayes left McLaren, their place of work, at lunch time and pro­ceeded along the A320 to­wards Ot­ter­shaw in a Subaru ve­hi­cle Oliver had owned for some time,” he out­lined. “Although mod­i­fied, I find Oliver would have been very fa­mil­iar with the ve­hi­cle. I find the lane had in­deed a stand­ing body of wa­ter 35 me­tres by 3.5 me­tres and, at great­est, cov­ered two-thirds of the lane. “After study­ing CCTV and the in­ves­tiga­tive re­port, it seems pos­si­ble to drive around it or through it or par­tially through it. We are left in a po­si­tion where there is no ev­i­dence as to what in­deed the Subaru did at that point. “Whether Oliver drove through or not, whether he could have driven slowly through it or slowed and went through it – nu­mer­ous claims we could make, but all would be spec­u­la­tion and this is not a court of spec­u­la­tion. What caused the loss of con­trol we will never know. “On bal­ance of prob­a­bil­i­ties, clearly the wet con­di­tions would have con­trib­uted to the loss of con­trol. I find the speed for the con­di­tions and the road con­di­tions were con­tribut­ing fac­tors lead­ing to Oliver not be­ing able to re­gain con­trol of the mo­tor ve­hi­cle.” A state­ment by Dar­ren Hayes’ fam­ily said: “Dar­ren was an amaz­ing son and brother, with a wicked sense of hu­mour. He was also ex­tremely kind and thought­ful and was well thought of by most peo­ple who met him.

“His death has left a vast, gap­ing hole in our fam­ily which we will never get over. Dar­ren had so much more to give, at McLaren Au­to­mo­tive and with his love of mo­tor­bike rac­ing, both of which he en­joyed very much.” Oliver Bour­ton’s mother, Susan, told the court how it was al­ways a plea­sure to be his mother. “Oliver was a very loyal pas­sion­ate per­son,” she said. “He loved his fam­ily, he was very car­ing and sen­si­ble and very grown up for his years. “I never had to worry about Oliver, ever. “He was the sen­si­ble one. Any­one go­ing out, he would al­ways be the one who was sen­si­ble.”

Dar­ren Hayes: An amaz­ing son and brother with a

wicked sense of hu­mour, said his fam­ily.

Oliver Bour­ton: In­quest

was told of a loyal, pas­sion­ate per­son who

loved his fam­ily.

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