Social worker killed when car hit tree at 90mph after nail punctured tyre

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A social worker was killed after she hit a tree at 90mph after a nail punctured her tyre.

Tragic Talia Roberts, who was just 24, was not wearing a seatbelt as she drove her Ford Fiesta to work at North Lincolnshire Council, an inquest was told.

Grimsby Telegraph reports that Talia had moved into a new house with partner Elliott, in Barton.

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The inquest heard she was driving between 85mph and 90mph on Ermine Street, which had a 60mph limit, between Barton and Scunthorpe, when she crashed at 9am on December 5, 2019.

Humberside Police forensic collision examiner, PC Robert Sawyer said a nail was discovered in a front tyre and caused the tyre to be underinflated.

The manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure for the Ford Fiesta is 34psi. But he discovered the tyre was only at 12psi.

PC Sawyer said the deflated tyre would not have been immediately noticeable. He told the hearing the nail had only recently punctured the tyre as there was no evidence that it has been in place for any length of time.

The officer said: “Coming over some of the undulations, as it has come down and there may have been some kind of steering attempt and the car started to rotate.

“The car may have lurched one way or the other. But it started to rotate and cross over on to the verge and struck the tree.”

He added: “It is possible there was some braking. It would have been difficult to contain.”

The severe front impact of the collision caused the speedometer to “freeze” between 85mph and 90mph, the officer said.

He told there was no evidence a seatbelt was being worn at the time of the impact.

She had not been using her mobile phone, crash investigators revealed after retrieving it from the scene.

A post mortem examination revealed the newly-qualified social worker died from chest injuries.

In tribute, elder sister Kirsty Holden told how their mother Dawn died in 2012, when Talia was a student formerly at Baysgarth School and then as a hair and beauty student at college.

After the death of their mother she went on to study health and social care at the University of Nottingham.

A graduation ceremony was held five days after the tragedy, which her family attended in her memory.

Kirsty said: “Everyone loved her so much. She excelled in everything she did.”

She added: “Sadly her new life was cut short just five days before her graduation. We still attended the graduation.

“She was a fantastic, loving person with a heart of gold, loved by everyone. She had achieved her dream job.”

Talia, who had a twin brother, Soul, was aunt to four nieces and three nephews.

Grimsby and North Lincolnshire coroner, Mark Kendall said: “Talia Roberts was a young woman with everything to look forward to, with a new home and new career.”

He said the extent of the damage was considerable given the speed of the vehicle. She had not been distracted by her mobile phone and there was no medical problem.

The coroner said the front tyre was underinflated due to a nail which had not been present for long and would not have been obvious to the driver.

He said there had been no time to react to the loss of control.

“Even if she had been wearing a seatbelt the outcome may not have been any different,” he added.

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