Monday 03 February 2003

'Inquest date over Goodwood crash'
by Aidan Radnedge

Coroner's officials have set aside three days for an inquest into the deaths of two men at a motor racing festival near Chichester. Andrew Carpenter, 40, from Polegate, and Lionel Dawson-Damer, 59, from New South Wales, Australia, were killed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2000.

The inquest is due to open in Chichester on Wednesday at the County Hall building, and may not end until Friday due to the volume of evidence. A West Sussex Coroner's Office spokeswoman said: "It is very unusual for an inquest to go on this long. In the past six years I have only known two that have lasted more than a day."

Mr Dawson-Damer was killed when the Lotus 63 he was driving hit the finishing post on June 24, 2000. Spectators watched the vehicle strike two marshals and flip over into a hedge.

Mr Carpenter, of Shepham Lane, was one of the marshals and later died at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester. Goodwood officials considered calling off the final Sunday but went ahead because of the huge crowds. They also promised to hold a full investigation into the tragedy. The festival is an annual celebration of cars which made the Goodwood circuit famous during the Fifties and Sixties.

Top of page