Pothole blamed for horrific car crash that killed four

Four friends were killed in a horrific car crash in Cheshire that was possibly caused by a pothole in the road

John Aston aged just 20, was driving home from a night out with three friends, when the Vauxhall Tigra coupe he was driving skidded off a wet road, and smashed into a tree. The accident happened at around 2am on 19 July on the A540 Chester High Road near Neston.

The other casualties were 19-year-old Ed Smith, 19- year-old Michaela Favager, and Jill Fowle, aged 43. It is thought that the four friends may have been returning from a night out in Chester to Wirral, where they all lived.

The stretch of road where the car accident happened is a well known accident blackspot and although the speed limit there has been reduced form 70mph to 40mph, local residents said that cars regularly travel at greater speed especially at night. Residents have also suggested that a 12 inch wide pothole, located just 100 yards from the scene of the accident may have caused the vehicle to spin out of control. Only yards from the scene there is also a sign warning motorists that this spot had seen 59 collisions in just three years.

Emergency services arrived at the scene within minutes but all the passengers of the vehicle were pronounced dead shortly after. One of the passengers had been thrown from the vehicle. It is understood that the car was severely damaged in the accident and is thought to have somersaulted several times before coming to rest on its roof.

One local resident who did not wish to be named said: “There is a strong chance that the driver lost control at about the point where there is a deep pothole in the road. There are some signs at the pothole that there has been an impact and there is a Vauxhall wheel trim lying alongside the road a little way down. If it hit the pothole at speed the car could have had a blow-out or the driver would simply have lost control. Come the hours of darkness the traffic is much sparser and it turns into a racetrack.”

The A540 was closed between The Runnell and Boathouse Lane for twelve hours while forensic officers cleared the scene and tried to determine the cause of the crash.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “We are still working to establish the movement of the four friends prior to the collision. We are trying to work out the movements of the blue coupe Tigra before the crash which claimed their lives.” The police are appealing for any witnesses to the crash to come forward.

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