Charity worker Jennifer Holden dies after 'racing' boyfriend on Wirral road A CHARITY worker was killed after losing control of her car while apparently racing her boyfriend along a Merseyside road.
Jennifer Holden died when her Vauxhall Corsa collided with a coach driving in the opposite direction on the A41, near Eastham Village.
Witnesses said they saw the 25-year-old and her boyfriend Michael Oakley, who was in a black Skoda, driving side-by-side just after 8am on Saturday May 30 last year.
A cyclist told a Wallasey inquest yesterday she assumed the cars were “two boy racers”, while another witness thought it was a police chase.
Wirral coroner’s court heard Miss Holden overtook her boyfriend’s car before losing control on a bend.
She suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.
Van driver Robert Slade followed the two black cars from traffic lights at the junction with Old Hall Road, travelling towards the M53.
He said: “I could clearly hear the sound of the Skoda’s engine – it was being revved severely.
“Then as the lights went green, the driver launched the car with excessive wheel spin and a huge cloud of white smoke.
“I then noticed the Corsa as it shot off from the lights with its front wheels juddering severely as the tyres tried to get a grip.”
Mr Slade said the actions of the Skoda driver made him think “stupid idiot”.
He said he assumed the two drivers knew each other because they were looking at each other at traffic lights, had their windows open and were possibly talking.
Mr Slade said the Skoda then braked to let the Corsa to catch up.
At the next lights, he said the Skoda driver was “pulsing the throttle pedal” before launching away “at a greater speed, followed by the Corsa”.
When interviewed by police, Mr Oakley said he was driving at 40mph and denied racing.
He admitted he revved the engine but said he had “no idea” why.
He told officers: “I know I did [go over the speed limit] at the end when I saw Jenny lose control because I just wanted to get to her, but before that, no.”
Terry and Pauline Patrick were at traffic lights waiting to turn into the A41 from Eastham Village.
Mr Patrick told the inquest: “As the black car approached the junction, I saw it being overtaken by another black car.
“As soon as I saw it I thought it was going fast. I would estimate the speed as about 60mph. I said to my wife ‘look at the speed of that’.”
He added: “If I was guessing, I would say they were racing.”
Mrs Patrick said: “I thought the second car was trying to catch the first. I even thought it was an unmarked police car.”
The driver of the coach, who was travelling below the 40mph speed limit, braked but was unable to avoid Miss Holden’s car.
PC James Martindale, of Merseyside Police, said while he was unable to accurately calculate the Corsa’s speed, four independent witnesses said it was a factor.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided no-one should face charges over Miss Holden’s death.
Coroner Christopher Johnson recorded a narrative verdict. THE ECHO