Grandmother’s loss devastates family

C141101-3 Mid Road phot kate  The stretch of road where the accident happened.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141101-3 SUS-140912-172537001
C141101-3 Mid Road phot kate The stretch of road where the accident happened.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141101-3 SUS-140912-172537001

A DEVASTATED family missing a wife, mother and grandmother say more 
needs to be done to make the A285 safer.

Janice Taylor, 74, was killed along with her friend Hilary Moock, 82, in a car crash on September 28, 2013.

The car in which they were passengers was hit by another car as they tried to turn into a junction at Upwaltham on the A285.

Mrs Taylor’s family described her as ‘a vibrant and truly inspirational woman’.

“She worked extremely hard to live a good and healthy life,” they said in a statement given to the Observer during the inquest, which concluded at Centenary House, in Worthing, last Wednesday.

“She built several businesses, a family, and looked after people who needed her. She loved life more than anyone we know.

“She loved people, she had brilliant intuition and strong values. Losing her has devastated the lives of her husband, three children, five grandchildren and many friends who relied on her strength, her wisdom and her loving kindness.

“Every day we miss her, every day we want her back.”

Mrs Moock’s husband Karsten, 86, was driving the car carrying the two women.

Mrs Taylor’s husband Rod was in a separate car.

The inquests heard the families had been close friends for many years before the tragic incident.

Recording a conclusion at their inquest that the pair died in a road traffic collision, senior coroner for West Sussex Penelope Schofield offered her condolences to the families.

“These are very tragic circumstances,” she said. “Here we have two families torn apart by an incident – families that have known each other for many years and are clearly today both grieving and hurting.”

Mr Moock was driving his Volkswagen Golf north along the A285. As he turned right across the southbound carriageway, his car was hit by David Lewis’ Honda Civic.

The 29-year-old was driving back from the Leconfield restaurant, in Petworth, where he is a chef.

Evidence at the inquest showed he was driving between 55mph and 60mph – within the national 
speed limit.

He had drunk a pint-and-a-half of lager, but was below the legal drink-drive limit.

The group in Mr Moock’s car was returning home from a trip to the Chichester Festival Theatre.

They all lived in London, but were staying at the Taylors’ second home in Upwaltham.

The entrance to the cottage is opposite the junction with Selhurstpark Road, close to the brow of a hill, meaning Mr Lewis could not see the car turning across his path until too late.

Mrs Taylor’s husband, Rod, and daughters, Melissa and Georgia, spoke after the inquest about the need to reduce speed along the A285, referencing similar roads in Surrey and East Sussex with slower speed limits.

“There’s a difference between councils really and they need to talk to each other,” said Georgia.