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Mother and her son, eight, were found drowned in a car by a fisherman seven hours after their car came off sharp bend on country road and crashed into a pond, inquest hears
- Vivien Radocz, 28, and her son Milan Radocz, were found drowned last year
- They were found seven hours after the crash by a fisherman and RAF officer
A mother and son were found drowned seven hours after their car came off a sharp bend on a country road and plunged into a pond, an inquest heard today.
Vivien Radocz, 28 and her son Milan Radocz, were recovered from the wreckage near an RAF base in Wittering, Cambridgeshire, after a fisherman discovered their car upside down in the water seven hours after the crash.
The inquest heard Mrs Radocz ‘failed to negotiate a sharp left-hand bend’ and crashed through a chain-link fence into the pond while driving her blue Ford Focus in September last year.
It was only when fisherman and RAF officer John Smith discovered the car upside down seven hours later that RAF guards and emergency services were alerted.
But the pair from Stamford, Lincolnshire, were pronounced dead that day after they were recovered from the wreckage.
Vivien Radocz, 28, and her young son Milan Radocz of Stamford, Lincolnshire, were found in a blue Ford Focus seven hours after crashing into the water near RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire, last September
Mrs Radocz died at the scene, while her son was rushed to Peterborough Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Pictured: the cordoned off pond
The 2010 blue Ford Focus spun off the road at around 10.35am crashing through a chain-link fence.
The car then plunged into a pond where it stayed for seven hours before being discovered by fisherman and RAF officer John Smith at 5.30pm who did not realise anyone was still in the vehicle.
He spotted that the fence was pushed over and then saw a vehicle upside down in the water, the back two wheels sticking out of the surface.
He called the guards of the RAF Wittering air force base which the pond belonged to who arrived 20 minutes after. The guards then called emergency services at 18.20.
Mr Smith said: ‘I didn’t call the emergency services because I thought the car had been there for a while due to it being on military premises.’
It was only after police, paramedics and the fire service arrived did officers realise Mrs Radocz and Milan were in the vehicle.
A fire officer smashed through the window of the passenger side and found what they believed to be a child’s foot.
Paramedics rushed Milan to Peterborough Hospital, Cambridgeshire, where he was pronounced dead at 7.44pm that day.
The pond is sat on a sharp bend, meaning fast moving vehicles that lost control while travelling out of Wiittering westwards may end up in the water
The pair were found inside the blue Ford Focus that was recovered from a pond near to the boundary with RAF Wittering (above), Cambridgeshire, last September
PC Rutter attended the scene at 6.22pm and stated: ‘At the time it hadn’t been identified if there were any occupants in the vehicle.
‘Officers rushed into the water a few minutes later and smashed the window. They carried a child out of the water who was unresponsive.
‘Paramedics scooped the child from the officer’s arms and rushed off the scene in an ambulance. Shortly later the officers recovered a body of a female from the vehicle.’
Mrs Radocz was found without her seatbelt on and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Coroner Simon Milburn, hearing evidence at Peterborough Town Hall, recorded Milan’s death as drowning after the car came off the 40mph Old Oundle Road near Wittering.
He said: ‘The vehicle left the single carriageway on the left side and entered a pond, becoming submerged in water.
‘Milan was unable to escape from the vehicle and was not discovered until 17.30 that day.’
CCTV footage documented the last sighting of the pair leaving Wittering at 10.31am in the car.
The forensic collision investigation found Mrs Radocz had steered an ‘incorrect course’ around the sharp bend in the country road, but the reason why she did so was unclear.
She had no pre-existing medical conditions and there was no evidence of speeding or any vehicle defects that would have caused the crash.
A toxicology report showed there was no alcohol or drugs in her system at the time of the crash.
PC Sean Redman’s report stated: ‘Why she steered an incorrect course is unknown.
‘Her unfamiliarity with the road, a distraction or inattention or a combination appears to me to be the most likely factors in the course of this collision.’
Mrs Radocz’s family told a liaison officer she would avoid unknown roads and use a Sat Nav to get around but there was no evidence of her using a phone at the time of the crash.
Their family have since repatriated to Hungary and have not issued a statement.
Mr Milburn said: ‘I would like to pass on my condolences for the family’s loss. It is difficult to imagine the extent of their grief of the loss of such a young child.’
A previous crash at the site in 2019 also saw a silver vehicle plunge into the pond after a traffic collision, though thankfully in that incident nobody was injured.
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