Inquest hears tributes to "exceptional" young woman

Date: Monday 13th May 2019

MOVING tributes have been paid at an inquest into the tragic death of an "exceptional" young Penrith woman who died in a crash on the A6, near Shap, aged 25.

Rebecca Alice Quail, of Eamont Mews, known as Becca, died in a collision which happened near Shap Quarry shortly before 8-30am on 15th March, 2017, while she was on her way to work as a senior teaching assistant at Sandgate School, Kendal, for children with special needs.

This was a job which she loved, the inquest, which opened in Kendal today, was told.

Becca, who was driving a Citroen, was killed as a result of injuries she received in the collision which involved a Mercedes Sprinter van — towing a trailer containing a mini-digger — which was being driven by Stewart Hamilton. He was being followed by a colleague, Daniel Bannon.

Both men were employed by T&K Gallagher, a sub-contractor working for United Utilities. They are due to give evidence to the inquest tomorrow.

The inquest into the circumstances of Becca's death — which has been listed to last for five days — is being overseen by coroner Kirsty Gomersal.

Simon Thicke, Becca's long-term partner, said: "We need a full and fearless inquest into what has happened in order to find some kind of closure — not just for us, but for Becca as well."

He paid tribute to her, saying: "She was the most special person I will ever know."

Her father, Brian Quail, said: "She was a lovely girl. You could not wish for a better daughter."

The inquest heard she had bright future ahead of her as a teacher.

"She was talented. She had a way with kids. It was quite a special thing," her father said.

Rebecca Field, who was driving to work in Penrith from Kendal, said she was going over Shap summit on the A6 — and could see the big quarry ahead of her — when there was "an explosion or impact."

"Things were just flying around. I did not know what was involved," she said in a witness statement which was read out at the hearing.