A MOTHER who died along with her son in an horrific crash lost control of her car because there was mud on the road, an inquest was told this week.
Kate Boughton and her sons Sam, Louis and Tom were going to visit their father during the school holiday when they were involved in a fatal crash near Leominster on February 14.
Sam, a 13-year-old pupil of John Beddoes High School in Presteigne, died at the scene.
Kate, who lived with the boys in Combe, near Presteigne, died shortly after being flown to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Louis and Tom, who were in the back of the car, suffered serious injuries but survived.
At an inquest into Kate and Sam’s deaths at Hereford Town Hall on Tuesday, West Mercia Police crash investigator PC Neil Taylor said he believed Kate had lost control of the car when mud on the road caused her to “oversteer”.
Louis told police the boys were playing picture bingo in the car at the time.
He felt the car swerve and thought his mother was trying to avoid a squirrel, hedgehog or rabbit.
Giving his evidence PC Taylor said: “The most cause for concern was the contamination of mud on the road surface coming from the Mortimer’s Cross direction, the side of the road the Corsa was on.
“It was a thin layer of mud and had been compacted by the time I arrived, but I don’t know if that was caused by the sheer number of emergency vehicles that attended the scene.
“I believe the mud deposits caused a momentary oversteer situation.”
Deputy coroner for Herefordshire Roland Wooderson heard that police had made inquiries into where the mud came from and who put a 'mud on road' warning sign out, but were unable to establish find the answer.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Wooderson said there was no evidence to suggest Kate was speeding, adding that a witness who saw her driving just minutes beforehand said she was careful and competent.
Mr Wooderson said the tractor driver had done nothing to contribute to the crash.
The inquest came one month after West Mercia Police warned farmers that they would be prosecuted if they left mud on roads.
Chief inspector Adam Thomas said: “We are receiving dozens of calls from the public about hazardous driving conditions caused by mud being left on the road and I am worried someone could be killed.”