Coroner to allow majority verdict at tram crash inquest

Sarah Ormond-Walshe, the Coroner in the inquest into the deaths of seven people in the Sandilands tram crash in November 2016, has today directed the jury that they can deliver a majority verdict.

There is to be a memorial service next week to mark the third anniversary of the crash

The inquest at Croydon Town Hall had been long delayed, first because of lengthy investigations by British Transport Police and then, last year, because of the covid-19 pandemic.

The coroner’s court was originally expected to spend 13 weeks hearing witness statements and other evidence, but the jury was sent out to consider its verdict after less than two months.

Ormond-Walshe told the jury on July 7 that they had a choice of verdict of either accidental death or unlawful killing. The jury – initially of eight men and three women – has been unable to come to a unanimous decision since then, after nearly two weeks.

Dane Chinnery 19, Philip Seary, 57, Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, Robert Huxley, 63, and Philip Logan, all from New Addington, and Donald Collett, 62, and Mark Smith, 35, both from Croydon, were killed in the crash. Another 50 passengers suffered injuries, some life-changing.

The inquest jury had heard that the tram toppled over and spun off the tracks near Sandilands after hitting a curve at 45mph, despite a 12mph speed limit.

Read more: No one to blame. Or no one cares? Tram crash case dropped
Read more: TfL safety audit kept secret from crash investigators
Read more: Driver of crashed tram ‘too unwell’ to give evidence at inquest
Read more: TfL considered cancelling tram contract after 2016 crash

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