Three killed in Drain tragedy
PUBLISHED: 11:51 03 February 2006 | UPDATED: 21:40 28 May 2010
THE notorious Forty Foot Drain claimed its fifth victim in six weeks when three people died in its icy waters in the early hours of Wednesday. Three bodies, two men and a woman, were recovered from a Hyundai car after a search for survivors by divers, pol
THE notorious Forty Foot Drain claimed its fifth victim in six weeks when three people died in its icy waters in the early hours of Wednesday.Three bodies, two men and a woman, were recovered from a Hyundai car after a search for survivors by divers, police, fire crews, and the Cambridgeshire Police helicopter.The two men, both from Peterborough, were identified as 49-year-old Jose Marmeleria, and 46-year-old Carlos De Oliveira. The woman has still not been formally identified.The accident happened at about 5.30am between Ramsey Forty Foot and Chatteris, just off the B1049.The submerged vehicle is believed to have been in collision with a blue Vauxhall Cavalier, which ended up on the bank of the drain, just a few feet from the water's edge. The 31-year-old driver, from Peterborough, was taken to Peterborough District Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.Freezing temperatures meant police divers were unable to enter the water immediately and the helicopter hovered over the drain using its searchlights.A 19-year-old male passenger from the Hyundai managed to escape through a small section of the passenger side windscreen, and has now been discharged from Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon.All in the Hyundai were travelling to work at Rustlers onion factory, off Fenton Way, Chatteris.A Volvo lorry was also believed to have been involved in the collision. Its driver, a 36-year-old man from Peterborough was uninjured.Police closed the road until about 3.45pm to carry out a thorough examination of the accident scene.A 31-year-old Peterborough man has been arrested, and was bailed to return to Thorpe Wood Police Station on April 5.The crash happened close to where Dean Hawes, 27, and his seven-year-old son Jordan, from Gull Way, Chatteris, died when their car crashed into the drain on December 21.The road, which has an uneven surface in places, runs alongside the 25-metre-wide drain with only a muddy verge separating it from a steep drop into water, which is up to five metres deep.The speed limit along the road has been reduced from 60mph to 50mph but there are growing demands for speed cameras at this accident blackspot.There have been 29 accidents along the Forty Foot Drain, with 10 cars entering the water, since January 2000, from Leonard Childs Bridge up to the Ramsey turn-off.Police are appealing for witnesses and would especially like to speak to a driver who stopped to help the injured Vauxhall driver and took him to hospital.- Anyone with information should contact the police on 0845 456 4564.