Coroner to review ‘harrowing’ dash cam footage of head-on crash in Dagenham

A13 Goresbrook Interchange, near the scene of the head-on crash on December 31, 2018. Picture: Googl

A13 Goresbrook Interchange, near the scene of the head-on crash on December 31, 2018. Picture: Google. - Credit: Google

The coroner will review what’s been described as “harrowing” dash cam footage of a head-on collision on the A13 in Dagenham last year.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct obtained the footage in its investigation into Essex Police's actions before the collision on New Year's Eve.

That's according to the IOPC's representative Jennifer Gillan at the pre-inquest review on Tuesday, September 17. She described the video as "quite harrowing".

The hearing was determining the provisional scope of the inquiry into the deaths of 71-year-old Rosemarie Carter and 43-year-old Rusit Ataoglu.

They died after Mrs Carter, who was driving on the wrong side of the A13, collided head-on with Mr Ataoglu on the eastbound carriageway. Police were called to the incident at about 1.45am.

Ms Gillan also said that, in the course of its investigation, the IOPC found Mrs Carter hadn't been registered with a GP since the 1970s. She added Mrs Carter's husband wrote in a background statement that he had raised concerns about his wife with his own GP prior to the accident.

Coroner Nadia Persaud said the inquest would include looking at Mrs Carter's physical and mental health, communication and responses to the incident by the Met and Essex Police, and a reconstruction of the crash to fully understand what happened.

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Mr Ataoglu's ex-wife and mother of his children, Hazan Ataoglu, asked the coroner to see whether the DVLA had sent or received any communication about Mrs Carter's ability to drive.

Those decisions are provisional, however, as neither the Met nor Essex Police were at the hearing, thought to be down to administrative issues.

It's also yet to be determined whether a jury will be needed, which is required if the inquest is assessing whether the deceased's right to life under the European Convention on Human Rights was breached. The coroner said, while there was nothing to suggest that was the case, she needed more evidence to rule it out.

A provisional date for the inquest has been set for April 20, 2020, but it's hoped that can be brought forward.

Witnesses will include the families of the deceased, evidence from GPs, police officers, a communications expert and a forensics expert. It's thought the IOPC will not be required to attend.