A planned night out to a party ended in tragedy when three friends were killed in a head-on collision.
An inquest at Ampthill yesterday heard the driver could have been doing around 102mph when her car slammed into a stationary lorry and thencaught fire.
Mary-Anne Wykes aged 16, of Murfitt Way, Gamlingay, Lewis Cook, also 16 of Marston Moretaine, and the car driver Genevieve Reason, aged 32 of Woburn Sands, suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene of the crash on the old A421 at Lidlington on May 29, last year.
Road worker Lee Osborne told the inquest he was working along the new A421 clearing cones at around midnight on May 29 when he saw a Scania lorry on the old road, at the junction of Sheep Tick End.
It was stationary on the wrong side of the road but “lit up like a Christmas tree,” he said.
“I saw a car approaching, in the time it took me to travel up the hill the car had passed me at speed,” he said. “It was doing more than 60mph. As the car passed me it I saw it go straight into the lorry and heard a bang.
“I felt sick to my stomach. I do not recall seeing any brake lights.”
Adam Perkins, of Station Crescent, Lidlington, said he was returning from a night out and noticed the Scania lorry in front of him.
He said as it reached Sheep Tick End it stopped on the wrong side of the road with its hazard lights on.
He said it looked like the lorry was planning to complete a u-turn into Sheep Tick End but there was plenty of room on the road for oncoming traffic to pass. A Mr Perkins turned into the side road he saw lights heading towards the lorry.
“It would not have had to take evasive action to get past,” he said.
Seconds later he heard a large metallic thud but was not aware there had been an accident until the following day.
Lorry driver Mark Griffin said he was planning to rest the night in one of the laybys along the old A421 and was completing a u-turn at Sheep Tick End to ensure his lorry was pointing towards the M1 for his next day’s delivery.
He spotted the Audi, driven by Miss Reason and thought it had seen him.
The force of the collision meant he could not escape through the driver’s side and had escape through the passenger side door.
PC Ian Marsters said forensic evidence showed the Audi had hit the kerb before hitting the lorry and becoming wedged between the lorry and the crash barrier.
Two passengers escaped but the remaining three were trapped.
He said Ms Reason had picked up passengers in Marston Moretaine to head to a party in Woburn Sands. Witnesses said the car was travelling at speeds of between 80-102mph before the collision.
He said the driver “failed to react correctly to the lit Scania and that excessive speed, alcohol and drugs were the causes of the collision.”
He said Mr Griffin was performing a legal manoeuvre at the time of the collision.
Recording a verdict of deaths by road collision, assistant Bedfordshire coroner Ian Pears said Ms Reason was driving too fast and misjudged the lorry in her path.
She had a ‘recreational’ amount of amphetamines in her system and was not over the driving limit for alcohol, he said.
“It was a very tragic set of circumstances,” he said.
After the tragedy school student Mary-Anne was described by her family as a “beautiful, popular, bright young woman. The world will be a darker place without her”.
She had been due to leave school soon. The family said: “She had a massive friendship group and lit up the lives of everyone who knew her.
“We have so many happy memories which we will treasure forever of our wonderful girl and words can’t describe how much she will be missed.”