Short life and fast death of an exile from society: Teenager suffered massive head injuries in collision

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The Independent Online
THE inquest on Sally-Anne opened yesterday. The hearing was told that she suffered massive head injuries when the stolen Rover Metro GTA that she was driving crashed into a lamppost.

The inquest at Birmingham coroners' court heard that the 14-year-old was found dead in the driver's seat after the crash on Kingsbury Road, Erdington, Birmingham, on 13 March.

Inspector William Humpherson, of the central traffic police, said Sally Anne was being tailed by a police patrol car, which was about 200m behind her when she lost control. 'The accident occurred shortly after 3am on the Kingsbury Road. She was certified dead at the scene,' he said.

He said that two youths who were with her in the car and who had fled the scene of the accident were 'very fortunate' to escape serious injury. He said they were now to face charges. Insp Humpherson said that there was one witness to the accident, but appealed for anyone with further information to come forward.

The inquest heard that a reconstruction of the accident would be carried out by police, supervised by an independent officer, Chief Inspector John Butler. He said Sally-Anne's mother, Victoria, a machinist, lived at Yardley Green Road, in Stechford, Birmingham.

Sally-Anne's father, Daniel Cattell, who is a motor mechanic and lives in Castle Vale, a suburb of Birmingham, told the inquest that he saw his daughter regularly and she was in good health and had no problems with her hearing or eyesight.

He said she was not attending school at the time of her death.

The coroner, Dr Richard Whittington, adjourned the inquest and released the body for burial.