Tragic death of young couple

NAPB. Site of the crash on the B6165 near Burnt Yates. 110105GS1c.
NAPB. Site of the crash on the B6165 near Burnt Yates. 110105GS1c.

The tragic death of a young couple from the Harrogate district at the end of last year has been ruled an unavoidable accident by a coroner.

Kate Henderson, 37, and Nathan Fielding, 32, died after a road accident while driving near Burnt Yates on December 28 last year.

At an inquest held in Harrogate Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, Coroner Rob Turnbull offered his sincere condolences to both of their families, saying it was “a tragedy that two young people with so much to look forward to should die in this manner”.

The accident happened just before 1pm on the B6165 outside the village when the car driven by Ms Henderson collided with another car travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver and passenger of the other car, Alan and Sandra Wade, were both badly injured in the accident.

Mr Turnbull read witness statements from the couple, and from another witness, Julia Sharpley, who described the moment Ms Henderson’s car started to lose control and seeing it “fishtailing” across the road.

Traffic Constable Stephen Kirkbright told the court that his investigations into the crash had shown nothing on the road or in the way that either car had been driven that could have been said to have led to the crash.

TC Kirkbright said: “I have been unable to determine why Kate initally lost control.

“There was no way Mr Wade could have avoided the collision.”

He said that weather conditions that day were damp, but there was no ice on the road and that there was patchy fog, but it was not thick.

He added that both Ms Henderson and Mr Fielding had been wearing seatbelts, that there was no evidence of excessive speed or harsh breaking and that he was confident that neither driver had been using a mobile phone at the time of the incident.

The court heard that while trace amounts of cannabis had been found in Ms Henderson’s body, this was not in any way judged to have impaired her judgement.

Mr Turnbull told the court that the young couple had met in September 2010.

He said: “They formed a close and loving relationship which they shared with their families.”

He said that on the day of the accident, they had taken the drive out together to go walking in the Dales.

Ms Henderson grew up in Knaresborough and attended King James School before moving to Harrogate to live in Regent Avenue.

Mr Fielding worked as a laboratory scientist at Harrogate District Hospital and had just completed postgraduate training to become a bio-medical scientist.

Coroner Rob Turnbull recorded a verdict of accidental death in both cases.