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Crash victim had signed up late for Brighton speed trials, inquest hears
A mother-of-three who died in after a crash at a famous speed trials had only signed up to take part as a late replacement.
Charlotte Tagg, 38, was “ejected” from her motorbike sidecar after it hit a concrete pillar and “tumbled” across the track.
An inquest heard she had been a late replacement at the Brighton Speed Trials.
The driver, Roger Hollingshead, explained that he and Miss Tagg had ridden together at other track and circuit events in his two-person vehicle.
He contacted her just ten days before the event and she said she would be “pleased” to step in.
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Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard the pair arrived early on the morning of September 8 last year and went through their usual preevent preparations.
Mr Hollingshead, who was also seriously injured in the crash, told of the event’s “buzz”.
He said: “It’s a speed event so you’re going to go fast.
“Alot of people come to spectate and there’s excitement from the very beginning.
“The weather was good, it was a nice day.”
The pair were competing in a quarter-mile sprint race along Madeira Drive with speeds in excess of 120mph.
The inquest heard the trials, which have been held on the seafront since 1905, had an “extraordinarily good” safety record.
Mr Hollingshead explained how Miss Tagg was required to lay front-first across the back of the vehicle in order to give the rear wheels more traction.
He added she used “hand-holds” to stay on.
Their vehicle, equipment and the track passed all the relevant safety checks and they completed their practice and first (of two) timed runs without incident.
But after crossing the finishing line on their final run of the day, their vehicle appeared to “lose control” and collided with a concrete pillar.
Miss Tagg was described as being thrown from the bike and tumbled across the Tarmac.
She was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where she was declared dead shortly after 8pm the same evening.
The inquest jury heard that Miss Tagg, who lived in Heather Court, Beck Row, Suffolk, had three children.
Coroner Veronica Hamilton- Deeley told the inquest Miss Tagg’s death “raised issues” about a popular event and was therefore of public interest.
The inquest, which is expected to last all week, continues tomorrow with eye-witness accounts.