A mum-of-one was killed in a go-karting crash in Tenerife while taking selfies at the wheel, an inquest heard yesterday.
Teacher Kelly Slater, 33, had gone go-karting with her partner John Wilcock shortly after they touched down for the Christmas getaway.
The inquest heard she had been taking selfies and videos on her phone when the 30mph go-kart she was driving veered out of control on a bend.
The vehicle went through a stack of tyres and plunged down a ravine.
Miss Slater, from Burnley, suffered organ failure in the crash and died from her injuries.
An inquest heard she had been given a loosely fitting helmet and there were no seat belts in the vehicle.
She had also been allowed to drive in flip-flops.
The tragedy happened at Las Americas track near the town of Adeje on December 27 2017 shortly after she and her partner touched down in Tenerife.
‘NO SEAT BELTS’
Mr Wilcock told the hearing: “We were given helmets but there was no briefing. It was just sort of ‘pay your money and away you go’. There were no safety signs that I can recall.
“I remember the helmets not being great either. Kelly’s came off after the accident. There were no seat belts or strapping on the car and no instruction briefing.
“I’d been on go karts in this country. They give you a safety briefing on how to drive but there they just let you on.
“The cars looked quite old too. I didn’t think much of it at the time – we just wanted to have fun.
“I think she had her phone between her legs then she started taking pictures pretty much straight away.
“We went round the first bend then she took her phone out and at the first or second bend she was alongside me. She had her phone in her hand. She was going straight but then hit the bend and went up in the air.
“On the track she was meant to go round a corner but she just went straight. She made no attempt to turn so it could’ve been something happening with the steering. I don’t remember how high the tyres were stacked.
“We’d probably only driven a few hundred yards. It happened so quickly.”
Miss Slater’s mum, Barbara Moffatt, said: “It’s a 30 year old track and they let her go on in flip flops. Her helmet didn’t fit her but no one came to ask her until she asked about it. She was then given a motorbike helmet which was massive on her.
“The track was open the next day after what happened. It’s hard for us all to process. People who work there should safeguard you while you have fun.”
UK police are thought to have obtained a report about the accident from the Spanish authorities but no official account of what happened was made public at the 40 minute inquest.
The official cause of death was hypovolemic shock due to ruptured thoracic aorta.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Richard Taylor said: “Kelly had gone to Tenerife with Mr Wilcock and attended the go kart track. On the first lap of the track she lost control of the go kart and left the circuit resulting in injuries that lead to her death.
“It’s been difficult to obtain information for this inquest due to inability to summon people from abroad.
“But the evidence is there that she is taking photos and filming with her phone.
“It’s very easy to jump to conclusions that because she’s doing that she’s lost control. What if she been wearing a seatbelt? What if standards of safety had been better than they were? What if the steering had failed on the car – and what if that contributed?
“I don’t in any way criticise Kelly. She’s on holiday she’s having a good time she’s going to have fun.
“It seems they set off fine, side by side, but at some time Kelly takes out her phone. I have seen a video several times and clearly they are having a good time. But Kelly lost control of the go kart and suffered the injuries that proved fatal.”
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Speaking after the inquest Miss Slater’s mum blasted: “We just feel like that inquest was a waste of time.
“We’ve had no help from Spanish police and not even heard from the business itself.
“Not even condolences, no compensation no nothing.
“The last two years have been incredibly hard. We’ve had no answers and no justice.”