Conisbrough crash victims to be remembered with memorial bench

(L-R) Crash victims Jordanna Goodwin, Blake Cairns, Megan Storey, Arpad Kore and Bartosz Bortniczak
(L-R) Crash victims Jordanna Goodwin, Blake Cairns, Megan Storey, Arpad Kore and Bartosz Bortniczak
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Five beloved Doncaster teens who lost their lives in a horror crash are set to be honoured with the unveiling of a memorial bench this weekend - exactly a year on from the tragic accident

The friends and families of crash victims Arpad Kore, 18, Bartsoz Bortniczak, 18 and 16-year-olds Blake Cairns, Jordanna Goodwin and Megan Storey are set to attend a memorial gathering at Grove Gardens, Wheatley Hills where the bench will be unveiled.

Well-wishers are also invited to attend the event which is due to take place at 1pm on Sunday, November 15, when there will also be a balloon release from the park. Those attending are asked to arrive early and to bring their own balloons along to the event, which is expected to be very busy.

Les and Helen Cairns, parents of Blake said: "The memorial bench for the 5 Angels is a fitting tribute.

They added: "To unveil the bench on the 15th November exactly a year from the date of the accident will be very emotional for all the families and friends of the 5."

The event has been organised in conjunction with Danum Academy, where Arpad, Blake, Jordanna and Megan were current pupils and Bartosz had previously attended.

In a letter sent out to parents and pupils, Danum headteacher Rebecca Staples said: "We are encouraging all children to help keep Grove Park a special place, and for all who use it to take care of it.

"After the unveiling, all will be able to visit the bench, enjoy the gardens, and have a quiet moment whenever they need."

The community was left devastated by the incident last year, and the outpouring of grief from local people reflected the warmth that was felt for the five teenagers.

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The five school friends were travelling in a blue Toyota Corolla when it fatally collided with a grey Seat León in Sheffield Road, Conisbrough at around 9.40pm on November 15 last year.

All five teens died from their injuries, while the driver of the Seat León sustained a broken leg.

At an inquest into their deaths last month, senior Doncaster coroner Nicola Mundy ruled that the collision had not been caused by racing or recklessness but by a steering error on the part of 18-year-old Bartosz, who was driving the Toyota Corolla.

Ms Mundy concluded with crash investigators that the most likely cause of the accident was that Bartosz took his foot off the accelerator as he negotiated a right-hand bend, causing a classic case of 'lift-off over-steer'.

The car, which had been travelling at about 73mph in a 60mph limit, skidded and was side-on when it hit the Seat.

Tests showed the car would have been able to safely take the bend at that speed if the driver had kept his foot on the accelerator.

After concluding returning a verdict of accidental death for all five teens, Mr Mundy said she would write to Doncaster council’s highways department urging them to reduce the speed limit to 40mph on the scene of the crash - also known locally as ‘the drag’.

Ms Mundy told Doncaster coroners’ court she was taking this step in a bid to stop others from dying on the same 100 metre stretch of road, where 10 fatalities have occurred over the last eight years.

She said: “I cannot ignore what I have heard about the number of fatalities that have occurred on this stretch of road. I’m calling for serious consideration to be given to alter the speed limit.”