Sister's heartbreak over death of mum and young son in A180 crash near Scunthorpe

The sister of a young mother who died along with her son when their broken down car was hit by a lorry said police had "plenty of time" to get to the scene before the crash.

Nicola Courtney, 34, and three-year-old Lucas Page were stranded in a live lane on the A180 near Scunthorpe when the lorry collided with their car on 10 March.

Humberside Police has referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) after receiving a number of calls about the breakdown before the crash. 

Nicola's sister, Rachel Courtney, said: "They had plenty of reports of the car - granted they didn't know anyone was in it, but there was plenty of time to get a police out there to realise there was somebody in it."

The incident happened at around 9pm, when a white lorry travelling westbound along the A180 between Stallingborough and Brocklesby hit Nicola's Ford Focus.

Rachel said: "My brother rung me at 1.30 in the morning and said I had to get over.

"I said just 'tell me what's happened', and he said Nicola and Lucas had died in a car crash. I just fell to my knees. It's been terrible - I've had breakdown after breakdown."

Nicola Courtney was described as a doting mother to Lucas and her two other children. Credit: Family handout

It is believed Nicola and Lucas stayed in the car after it broke down because the road was a dual carriageway with no hard shoulder. The advice from National Highways is for people to remain in their vehicles after breaking down if there is no place of safety.

Nicola had two other sons.

Rachel said: "She was the most perfect mum. She lived for her kids. Everything she did was for them. She worked as a carer, and would work anti-social hours just so she could spend the rest of the week with her kids.

"The bond between Nicola and Lucas was just unbelievable. Her kids never wanted for anything."

At the opening of an inquest into their deaths in Grimbsy, coroner Paul Smith said, as well as the crash, he would consider the possible impact of alcohol in Nicola's system. 

Rachel says alcohol did not cause the crash. She added: "She shouldn't have got in the car but we will never know why - and now she's not here."

She is campaigning for the A180 to have motorway-style safety measures.

The A180 near Scunthorpe. Credit: ITV News

She added: "It was pitch black and there were no lights. I've been down to the scene and the grass verge is too small. The lay-by is a mile and a half away. She wouldn't have known where to go."

A spokesman for the IOPC said: "We are independently investigating the circumstances of a fatal collision on the A180 on Friday 10 March in which two people sadly died. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and all those affected.

"We received a referral from Humberside Police due to the fact the force received several calls about a vehicle blocking a live lane, prior to the incident."

Humberside Police said it could not comment on an ongoing investigation.

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