Young mum killed as she drove son to photo shoot

Image: Ross Parry (s)
Image: Ross Parry (s)

A 22-year-old mother from Knaresborough was killed in a car smash near Oldham as she excitedly raced to get her 13-month-old son to a modelling assignment, the inquest into her death has found.

Georgina Taylor was so delighted at toddler Rory being picked for a photo shoot at a child model agency, she hit speeds of up to 85mph in her silver Mini Cooper on a motorway.

But as she tried to negotiate a bend, Georgina suddenly lost control of the vehicle and went into a 360 degree spiral before ploughing into a tree on an embankment.

As her car began to catch fire, passing motorists pulled over and pulled Rory clear from his booster seat inside the wreckage of the vehicle.

The boy escaped with a cut and abrasion to his head but his mother died in the driver’s seat from multiple fatal injuries, despite efforts to save her.

Inquiries revealed Georgina had passed her driving test 15 days before the tragedy and the car’s tyres were ‘significantly deflated’.

Her inexperience with driving meant she was unable to properly negotiate a bend on the A627 near Oldham at high speed.

Rory, now 18 months old, lives with his grandparents and is said to be too young to understand what happened to his mother.

The inquest was told Georgina, who was known as George by her family and friends, had been a talented dancer at school and a keen horse rider before enrolling on a course at Leeds Trinity University.

The hearing in Heywood, Greater Manchester, was told Georgina had started driving in 2012 and obtaining a provisional licence before passing her driving test at the third attempt on January 10, 2014.

They had taken the Mini on a 200-mile run to Cambridge to see how the car fared on long journeys and soon after the vehicle was put through an MOT.

Tragedy struck on January 25 this year when Georgina had been offered the chance to take her son to a professional photo shoot with a child model agency in Macclesfield.

But on her way to the assignment she began speeding - even though she was not late for the shoot.

Eyewitness Paul Herdman, on his way to Manchester Airport from Rochdale said: “The Mini was just six feet in front of me when it spun across into my lane before continuing to do a 360 degree turn toward the hard shoulder.”

Passing motorist Shaun Pattinson said: “I ran up to the car and could see a baby looking at me from the back seat. It was not clear if anyone else was in the car at this point as the roof was completely crushed in, not far from the baby’s head. I reached in unfastened the baby straps and lifted him out. I had to be careful because of the broken window.”

PC Paul Standish, a forensic collision investigation officer, who examined the car said: “Although the MOT was met, a mixture of tyres, half winter and half budget tyres, and general wear and tear, may have compromised the handling of the car. The tyres were significantly 36 per cent deflated and in the circumstances it is possible that as Georgina managed the left hand corner she under-steered.

“A combination of an excess of the speed limit and maintenance of the car and a lack of motorway driving experience may have led to this tragic accident.”

Senior coroner Simon Nelson recorded her death as a road traffic collision and told Georgina’s mother, Sally Taylor: “I mentioned how miraculous, as I think that is the only word for it, that your grandson came out of this completely unscathed. I hope when he is old enough to understand you will tell him about his mother who sadly is no longer here to care for him.

“I appreciate that weekend was devoted to her son. I do not perceive this is a scenario of someone being late for an appointment and taking risks to make up time.

“I put her speeding simply down to a lack of experience. I cannot ignore the fact that speed was a significant factor in this incident.

“It was quite miraculous that no one else sustained a life threatening injury. What occurred will remain with all the family for the rest of your lives. She had an eventful life. She strikes me as a very determined individual.”