Second victim in Christmas crash

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The Independent Online
A SECOND person died after being hit by a car which ploughed into a group of revellers leaving a party on Christmas morning, police said yesterday. The accident has already claimed the life of a 21-year-old woman and injured eight other people.

Police named the dead man as Richard Barnett, 24, from Cadbury Road, Keynsham. He died in Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, after receiving head and limb injuries when a car mounted a pavement and ploughed into the group.

Sarah Monelle, 21, mother of a six-month-old boy, died at the scene of the accident. The child is being cared for by her parents. Both victims were among 30 young people waiting for taxis outside Keynsham rugby club, near Bristol, when a car struck them.

The 24-year-old driver, from Keynsham, who was unhurt, was arrested at the scene and provided a positive breath test. The man, who has been released on police bail, was 'roughed up' by onlookers, police said.

A second man, Michael Bradley, from Saltford, near Bristol, was in intensive care at Bristol Royal Infirmary after suffering serious internal injuries. His condition was 'critical but stable'.

Police said Nicholas Robson, 22, from Bath, suffered serious head injuries but was out of intensive care and 'comfortable'.

They said Hayley Britton, 16, from Keynsham, who suffered head injuries, Nicola Crew, 20 from Warmley, near Bristol, who suffered serious head and leg injuries and Tim Halls, 24, from Saltford, who suffered head injuries, were all 'stable'.

Three other people were discharged after treatment.

Inspector Bob Davey said the cause of the accident was unknown. Road conditions were dry but frosty.

In Scotland police said the number of drivers who failed Christmas Day breath tests fell dramatically. Only 12 out of 460 drivers tested were shown to be over the limit. Last year 21 drivers failed and one driver refused, out of a total of 468 tests.

The Automobile Association reported trouble-free roads, although one traffic jam formed in Shetland as hundreds of people came to watch a family of seven killer whales in the bay of Catfirth, north of Lerwick.

The AA warned of further traffic problems as people visited relatives and friends or set off on holiday.

Both Gatwick and Heathrow airports reported brisk business as thousands of holidaymakers headed abroad for a break. Heathrow Airport reported an increase in outbound passengers of six per cent on last year. An airport spokesman estimates that a million passengers will have flown out between 19 and 27 December.

Around 30,000 people were flying from Gatwick Airport, with Florida one of the most popular destinations. Thousands also headed for Scottish or European ski slopes where snow conditions were reported to be the best for several years.