Deadly south London tram crash deemed to have been accident
- United Kingdom
Families of people killed in a tram crash in south London five years ago have demanded a new inquest into their deaths after a jury concluded on Thursday that they were not unlawfully killed.
Seven people died and another 51 were injured when the tram they were travelling on derailed and overturned near Sandilands tram stop on November 9, 2016.
The tram was travelling at 73 kilometers per hour (45 miles per hour), more than three times the 20 kph speed limit when it spun off the tracks.
The inquest was told that driver, Alfred Dorris, may have slipped into a period of “microsleep” - falling asleep for a few seconds - on the stretch of track where the tram derailed.
On its 10th day of deliberations at Croydon Town Hall, the 10-person inquest jury reached a unanimous conclusion that the deaths were an accident.
“It's not an accident,'' said Danielle Wynne, granddaughter of 52-year-old Philip Logan who died in the crash. “Someone is to blame.” Ben Posford of law firm Osbornes Law, who was representing the families of five of the seven victims, said they are “understandably angry and upset'' at the ruling.
“As a result, we will be pursuing the legal options open to us by calling on the attorney general to apply to the High Court for a new inquest,'' he said.
“The families will also be considering judicial review proceedings against the coroner, to get the answers they deserve.” It was not immediately clear whether the families of the other two victims would also pursue an appeal.
The victims' families were especially vexed by the decision of senior coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe to refuse to call a number of people about alleged safety failings, including the driver himself who was excused from attending the inquest due to poor health.
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