Haverhill couple died instantly after A1307 crash

A1307 crash scene ANL-140813-092951001
A1307 crash scene ANL-140813-092951001

A Haverhill couple was killed instantly when their car careened off the road, an inquest has heard.

Melanie Saunders, 52, and her husband, Peter Saunders, 55, both of Cleves Road, Haverhill, died when their car left the A1307 as they were travelling eastwards towards Haverhill at about 7pm on August 9, 2014.

They were heading towards Haverhill having been at the Three Tuns pub in Great Abington.

Witness, Stephen Wells, described how the couple’s red Mercedes C63 overtook him on the bend near the junction with Dean Road before losing control and veering off the road.

“I have never seen a car go as fast as that,” he said. “It appeared like a flash. As it drew nearer, it seemed to be slowing.

“It went onto the central reservation by about a foot, a foot and a half and kicked up a lot of dust. They never regained control. They just veered off the road.”

Collisions investigator, PC Simon Burgin, calculated that the car must have been travelling at no less than 101 mph before the brakes were applied.

The car came to rest on its roof before bursting into flames.

Mrs Saunders, who had been driving, died instantly from multiple injuries. Coroner, David Scott Morris, recorded that she had died following a road traffic collision with a tree.

A pathologist also found that Mrs Saunders was over the drink-drive limit, with 132mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The limit is 80mg.

Mr Saunders, who had been in the passenger seat, died instantly from chest trauma. He is recorded as having died as a passenger following a road traffic collision with a tree.

Mrs Saunders’ brother, Nicholas Nadin, who attended the inquest along with the Saunders’ two sons, Sam and Leo Saunders, said: “The only saving grace was that no one else was involved.”

Mr Saunders had been the managing director of Basildon based lighting company, Reflectorlux. Mrs Saunders had worked alongside him as the company’s finance director.

David Trueblood, a director of Reflektorlux, said: “Peter and Melanie were a fantastic couple, a definite match for each other. They were kind considerate and nothing was too much trouble when called upon for help or advice.

“It was a pleasure to have known such fantastic people and our thoughts are with Sam and Leo and all the family and friends that this will have affected.”