Families of Croydon tram dead will get the chance to voice their anger at inquest – in nine months’ time

By Tara O’Connor BBC Local Govt Correspondent


A jury inquest into the deaths of the seven people who died in the Croydon tram crash is expected to take place in September 2020.

Today (Wednesday, December 11) a short pre-inquest hearing took place at Croydon Town Hall.

Senior coroner for South London, Sarah Ormrod-Walshe, resumed the inquests into the deaths of Dane Chinnery, Donald Collett, Robert Huxley, Philip Logan, Dorota Rynkiewicz, Philip Seary and Mark Smith.

They died on the morning of November 9, 2016 when a tram derailed at Sandilands Junction.

This morning’s hearing heard that there were 69 passengers, as well as the driver, on board the tram by the time it had left Lloyd Park tram stop.

All but one of the passengers were injured and seven died.

The inquest originally opened on November 21, 2016 but was adjourned until a decision on whether or not to charge the driver was made.

On October 31 this year the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and British Transport Police announced that the driver Alfred Dorris will not be charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

The pre-hearing heard that interested parties will include representatives from families of the seven that died, Tram Operations London, TfL and British Transport Police as well as a lawyer for Mr Dorris.

It is expected that this will be a jury inquest which is likely to commence in mid September 2020 and be held at Croydon Town Hall.

At the moment it is thought this will run for 12 weeks from Monday to Thursday with the possibility of extending the time.

A further pre-hearing is expected to take place in late January but a date for this has not yet been set.

Here Miss Ormrod-Walsh will consider the scope of the inquest and which evidence will be disclosed.

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