Architect and her son, 13, both killed after car skidded on a muddy road and struck tractor head-on in Valentine's Day tragedy
Kate Boughton, 35, and her teenager son Sam both died after she lost control as a result of 'momentary oversteer' on family day outHerefordshire Fire and Rescue described the crash as one of the worst collisions it had ever seenMrs Boughton's two other young boys in the back seat survived
17:24 GMT, 6 December 2012
An architect and her teenage son were killed in front of her two other boys when their car ploughed head-on into a tractor after it skidded on a muddy road, an inquest heard.
Kate Boughton, 35, and her eldest son Sam, 13, died when their Vauxhall Corsa careered into the path of the tractor near Leominster, Herefordshire, on Valentine’s Day this year.
Mrs Boughton was taking Sam and her other two other sons, Louis and Tom, for a half-term day out when the tragedy struck.
An inquest into their deaths at Hereford Town Hall on Tuesday heard the mother-of-three and her eldest son died as a result of a 'momentary oversteer' caused by mud on the road.
Tragedy: Kate Boughton (left) and her son Sam (right) were killed in front of her two other boys when their car ploughed head-on into a tractor as she lost control of her car on a muddy road near Leominster, Herefordshire
Mrs Boughton's children were were playing bingo when she lost control of the car and veered straight into the path of the two tonne farm vehicle.
Front seat passenger Sam, who was a pupil at John Beddoes High School in Presteigne, Powys, died at the scene, while his mother 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.
The horrific smash was described at the time as one of the worst collisions Herefordshire Fire and Rescue Service had ever seen.
Crash investigator PC Neil Taylor, of West Mercia Police, said he believed Mrs Boughton lost control of the car when mud on the road caused her to oversteer.
Emergency workers at the scene of the fatal road traffic accident near Lucton on the B4362 where Kate Boughton and her son Sam were killed.
Helicopters: Two air ambulances arrive at the scene of the fatal collision
He said: 'The most cause for the concern was the contamination of mud on the road surface coming from 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.'
Inquest: A coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death, after ruling there were no faults with the car and that the tractor driver had done nothing to cause the crash
The inquest heard a road sign warning drivers about the muddy conditions had been put out but according to PC Taylor, its location was 'insufficient' to give motorists time to react.
A team of 20 firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment and spent an hour releasing the family from the wreckage.
Mrs Boughton was a director of architectural and engineering consultancy firm Penguin Services UK Ltd with her husband Edward, 42.
He was understood to be working from the family home at the time of the crash.
Mrs Boughton and her eldest son Sam (centre) with her two other sons Louis and Thomas. The two youngest boys suffered serious injuries in the collision
Deputy coroner for Herefordshire, Roland Wooderson, said: “There is no evidence to suggest Mrs Boughton was speeding…a witness has described her driving as careful and competent.”
Recording a verdict of accidental death, he added that there were no faults with the car the tractor driver had done nothing to cause the crash.