Bradford smash killed teenage cancer survivor

Jade Best (right) with her mother Karen. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency

Jade Best (right) with her mother Karen. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency

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A YOUNG cancer survivor was one of three people killed when a high-powered car smashed into the side of a building.

An inquest heard 19-year-old Jade Best was killed instantly when the car driven by Adam Ruthven, 27, lost control and skidded sideways into a hairdressing salon.

The scene of the crash in Bradford

The scene of the crash in Bradford

Soldier Danny Hague, 32, who was sat in the passenger seat at the time, also died at the scene.

Just days before the accident, Miss Best had celebrated her 19th birthday. She had been given the all clear from cancer just a month before.

The teenager was described after her death as “a strong character who got over her cancer”, which she had received chemotherapy treatment for.

Following the crash on the evening of September 16 last year, her parents said in a statement: “Jade was a happy-go-lucky person and had a lovely outgoing personality that meant she embraced life to its fullest.

“She had recently been given the all-clear following a cancer diagnosis and had so much life left to live.

“We are devastated by her death and that she has been taken from us in such tragic circumstances.”

The inquest in Bradford yesterday heard the black Mitsubishi Evolution car was travelling at around 115mph in a 30mph zone when the accident happened.

The driver lost control of the car and narrowly missed another vehic;e before crashing.

The car was travelling towards Bradford after the trio had been drinking in The Royal pub in the nearby village of Denholme.

The inquest heard how one onlooker described the crash as being “like an explosion”.

Post mortem tests showed that married dad-of-two Mr Ruthven and Mr Hague - a Lance Corporal who was on leave from serving in Iraq - were over the drink-drive limit, which may have contributed to Mr Ruthven’s loss of control of the car.

The coroner was told CCTV suggested keen car enthusiast Mr Ruthven was driving no less than 100mph and possibly “in excess of 115mph”.

Minutes earlier, the Mitsubishi had overtaken a vehicle containing two people who commented that “it was going to kill somebody”.

Road traffic accident investigator Keith Rayner told the coroner that it was an “unbelievable speed”, and that residents had commented on the car’s noise and speed earlier on in the evening.

Paramedic Jodie Halls told the hearing: “I arrived first at the scene and saw lots of people, with the car embedded into the building.

“There was someone giving CPR to the driver. When I opened the rear door on the driver’s side I saw a young woman laid across the back seats.

“She had no pulse and wasn’t breathing, I knew she was dead.

“The driver was also dead, we worked on the passenger giving him further CPR but he died soon after.”

Coroner Tim Ratcliffe, recording verdicts of accidental death, said: “Mr Ruthven knew the area well and was well aware of the speed limit.

“His speed was excessive and frightening to those who had seen the car that evening.”

He told the families: “You have lost loved ones at an early age, and for this I am very sorry.”

The accident last year prompted a huge outpouring of grief with more than 60 floral tributes left at the scene.

The crash happened close to a spot where two teenagers died in a collision five years ago.

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