Double fatal Leeds crash tragedy prompts safety calls

Floral tributes at the scene.
Floral tributes at the scene.
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Calls have been made for road safety improvements at the spot where two people were killed in a crash in Leeds.

Mother of two Leanne Bowman, 33, and 27-year-old James Coleman died after the car they were travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with a lorry on Middleton Grove, Beeston, on Saturday, September 20.

Another man, 20-year-old Jai Coleman, remains in hospital after suffering serious injuries.

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the early hours incident.

But Donna Young-Joynson, from Belle Isle, who was involved in a crash at the same spot, said action needed to be taken to prevent further tragedies.

She said she cried when she heard about the deaths of Miss Bowman and Mr Coleman, adding: “My heart goes out to the friends and families of the recent casualties involved in yet another accident on that same stretch of road and I fully support the idea of traffic calming measures, hopefully preventing any further devastation.”

Mrs Young-Joyson, 36, was travelling with her husband, Mark and their baby daughter, Alyssa, when their car was hit by a speeding driver in November 2012.

She estimated that the car was travelling at about 80mph when it lost control as it came towards them in the direction of Dewsbury Road.

Despite her husband’s attempts to avoid the collision, the car hit the driver’s side of his car.

The driver was given nine points and fined £180. But Mrs Young-Joynson said the incident has left her with ongoing health problems.

“I didn’t drive for a long time afterwards. Even now, if I hear the roar of an engine I get butterflies,” she said.

Community activist Jeremy Morton, who lives in Beeston, believes there is a wider problem with irresponsible driving in the area and supports the idea of 20mph zones in residential areas.

He said the 30mph limit on Middleton Grove is appropriate – but added: “People do drive too fast down there. It’s used by children walking to and from school and I don’t think traffic calming would hurt.”

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said road markings were previously changed to improve safety. She added: “Any further action will be guided by the outcome of the police investigation into the fatal crash, when the full circumstances are made known.”

** An inquest was due to open this morning into the deaths of James Coleman and Leanne Bowman.

Brief details of the incident were expected to be given, with the hearing then adjourned pending the completion of police inquiries.

It is understood officers from the West Yorkshire Police major collision enquiry team have spoken to the lorry driver, who was uninjured, but no arrests have been made.