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Three British Airways cabin crew members were killed in a horror New Year’s Eve crash when their driver sped through a crossroads while under the influence of alcohol.
An inquest heard how Dominic Fell, 23, was twice the drink-drive limit and going down the wrong side of a road in Stanwell, Surrey, when he ploughed into a lorry.
He and “inseparable” best pal Joe Finnis, 25, were killed instantly while Rachel Clark, 20, was hurled through the sunroof by the force of the impact.
Her body was found four metres from the scene of the crash.
Police Constable Dominic Gibson, a forensic collision investigator with Surrey Police, said Rachel wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
He said: "CCTV showed the Mercedes HGV was correctly positioned and the Toyota Yaris was travelling on the wrong side of the road as it approached the junction.
"The Toyota failed to give way and drove into the path of the approaching Mercedes. The car tumbled side over side, tipping onto its glass roof causing a catastrophic crushing before coming to rest upside down, partially on its side.
"The rotation meant that a rear passenger was ejected through the roof opening.
"The lorry crossed a double height kerb, into a tree lined verge before crashing into the river embankment where it came to rest."
Following the tragedy, almost £100,000 was raised after a British Airways cabin crew member set up a fundraising page.
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In a statement, fellow cabin crew member and host of the New Year party, Lucy Pemberton, recalled her final moments with the boys.
She told the inquest in Woking, Surrey: "On New Year's Eve my housemates arranged to have a party to see in the new year with friends. Two people coming were Dom Fell and Joe Finnis who were both BA staff.
"Dom and Joe were best friends, they were inseparable. Dom used insulin and used a machine which he had been charging in my bedroom.
"We were getting ready for the party and I saw Dom with a bottle of Budweiser but he was staying over so I didn't think anything of it.
"At 11.15pm, I caught the boys in the hall trying to sneak out. I asked them where they were going and they said they were going to pick up some girls and they would be back before the New Year rang in."
Lucy explained the boys were using Google maps and were using it to walk the route, before saying "sweet, it's five minutes away".
She added: “They both went out the front door – that was the last time I saw my friend Dom.”
In a statement, toxicologist Hassan Kurimbokus explained that Dom, from Grimsby, was close to double the drink-drive limit which caused "risk taking behaviour, decreased inhibitions, increased confidence and a lack of judgement".
Sitting at Surrey Coroner's Court, Simon Wickens concluded the three British Airways cabin crew members had died from a road traffic collision.
He said: "This incident occurred not long before the start of the new decade. No doubt driving while impaired played a factor in this tragedy.
"This collision has torn a hole through three families' lives, friends, work colleagues and the community. It shows just how devastating driving while impaired can be."
- British Airways
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