“Mammoth tragedy” of young mum’s road death

Flowers left at the scene of the accident which claimed the life of Sarah Binns.
Flowers left at the scene of the accident which claimed the life of Sarah Binns.

A young mother suffered fatal injuries when she was struck by a car after leaving a wedding reception with her fiance, an inquest heard.

Sarah Binns, 23, of Birstall, and her fiance Thomas Oates had been guests at the reception at Woodkirk Valley Country Club near Tingley on Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard they left the reception at around midnight, intending to walk to Mr Oates’ home nearby.

Miss Binns was attempting to cross the Leeds-bound A653 Dewsbury Road dual carriageway when she was struck by a Ford Ka driven by Dominic Lacey.

Mr Oates told the inquest: “As soon as I got across the road I heard screams and that’s when I heard the impact.”

Miss Binns was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where she died from multiple injuries just after 11.30am on Sunday November 10 2013.

Witness John Halliwell, a former retained firefighter, fought back tears as he told the inquest he saw the vehicle hit Sarah.

The inquest heard Ford Ka driver Mr Lacey told police he did not see Miss Binns and braked after the collision.

Mr Oates told the inquest Miss Binns had drunk around two glasses of wine at the wedding reception.

The inquest heard toxicology tests revealed she was the equivalent of just under double the drink drive limit at the time of the incident.

West Yorkshire Police accident investigator Keith Reyner said he estimated Mr Lacey was travelling at around 41mph in a 40mph zone when the collision happened.

Mr Reyner said his investigations showed Mr Lacey would have had little time to react and take evasive action after Miss Binns stepped off the kerb on the central reservation when the car was around 11 metres away.

Mr Reyner said a collision would still have happened had Mr Lacey braked beforehand.

Recording a verdict of death due to a road traffic collision, deputy coroner Kevin McLoughlin said: “For reasons we will never be able to explain, neither Mr Oates, or similarly Sarah, saw the car approaching and equally we have the conundrum that Mr Lacey has candidly said that he did not see Mr Oates crossing, nor did he see Sarah before the impact.

“We simply have the sad thing that people who should have seen each other have not done so.”

Mr McLoughlin added: “To lose a promising young woman with such a bright future is a mammoth tragedy. I offer my heartfelt sympathy. I’m particularly mindful that there is a little boy who must grow up now without his mother.”