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Accidental deaths

A coroner has recorded a verdict of accidental death for two people who were killed in an accident on the A7 near Carlisle last December.

43-year-old lorry driver Ian McQueen from Dumfries, and 23-year-old Rebecca Rennie from Newcastleton both died in the crash.

Coroner Robert Chapman said that ice on the road was not to blame, adding nobody will ever know exactly why the lorry driver drifted onto the wrong side of the road.

He also said Mr McQueen did not have a heart attack or any kind of seizure which may have caused the accident.

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Collision Investigation Unit say no ice was present

PC Mark Dempster of the collision investigation unit told the hearing there was no evidence of ice on the road:

"To move a wagon of this size across the road would require a large piece of ice- in the nine minutes it took the emergency services to arrive that ice would still be visible"

"On the balance of probability as to why Mr McQueen failed to negotiate the left hand kink it is possible he became distracted."

– PC Mark Dempster

Witness gives evidence

Keith Parker, an HGV driver from Shropshire, who was following Ian McQueens vehicle northwards on the A7, said he saw the rear of the trailer twitch and then veer of the road into the field.

He told the court a 'black ice' warning was showing in the cab of his vehicle.

When asked why he didn't stop after witnessing the lorry leaving the road, he replied:

"I've never been involved in an accident before"

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Bus driver gives evidence

The driver of the minibus has been giving evidence at the inquests into the A7 deaths.

William Darling, a driver with Telfords, said he saw the lorry drifting towards him across the white line.

"The next thing I knew, I was picking myself off the floor"

– William Darling

The driver was showered with glass and knocked unconscious by the impact, and spent time in hospital being treated for arm and shoulder injuries.

The inquest heard how other passengers on the bus found Miss Rennie on the floor where '"she was already dead".

The driver of the lorry involved in the accident, Ian McQueen, also died.

A7 deaths inquest begins

The car involved in the accident, and debris from the front of the lorry Credit: ITV Border

An inquest into the deaths of two people killed on the A7 in Cumbria last December is due to begin.

The accident involved a minibus, a lorry and a car.

A passenger in the minibus, 23-year-old Rebecca Rennie, from Newcastleton, and the lorry driver, 43-year-old Ian McQueen, from Dumfries, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Five others were injured in the accident, which happened on a notorious stretch of the A7, near the village of Blackford just outside Carlisle.

Crash scene on the A7 Credit: ITV Border

Mr McQueen, was described by his family as "a big kid at heart".

Miss Rennie, who had been celebrating her 23rd birthday the weekend before the accident, was described by her family as a “lovely, bubbly girl who lived life to the full.”

People have been campaigning to improve safety at the accident blackspot for several years.

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