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Prior's Court crash victims remembered one year on

A picture from the scene of the M4 crash last year

A minute’s silence will be held today to remember the lives of three staff members from Prior’s Court school in Hermitage, who died in a crash on the M4 in Berkshire a year ago.

Lorraine Maclellan from Farnborough, Catherine Gardiner from Reading and Jason Alexio from Thatcham were in a minibus which collided with a lorry between Newbury and Hungerford twelve months ago.

Yesterday at the inquest into their deaths, it was ruled there was no clear or obvious reason why the minibus dramatically slowed down and stopped.

The coroner said she’d be writing to the manufacturer Ford regarding ‘vehicle issues’.

Heidi Connor said also said she'd write to Highways England to discuss why the motorway’s hard shoulder was blocked by barrier work at the time.

 Lorraine Maclellan

 Catherine Gardiner

 Jason Alexio

(Above: Prior's Court school - picture credited to Jonny Freeman)

Prior's Court Chief Executive, Mike Robinson, said:

"It would have undoubtedly helped all of us affected by the accident to have reached a conclusive answer to the question - why did this happen?

"The very thorough police investigation was able to rule out a number of possible causes, but did not reach a definitive answer.

"It feels like we are going to have to accept that this was an awful, tragic accident, where we are just not going to be able to answer all the questions we have about it.

"While we at Prior’s Court lost three much loved colleagues, their losses will be felt even more greatly by their families and our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.

"As we’ve said before – life at Prior’s Court will never be quite the same after being touched by such a tragedy.

"However, the strength and resilience shown by our staff has been remarkable, and time and again they’ve shown their dedication to supporting our young people.

"Tomorrow we will mark the one year anniversary with a minute’s silence at midday, and give everyone the time to remember their colleagues.

"Our focus now remains on supporting those directly affected, and we will honour the memory of Cathy, Jason and Lorraine by continuing the amazing work they did at Prior’s Court."

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