A man and his pregnant wife who died in a horror smash with a coach had been chased by police for ten minutes, an inquest heard.
Teenage couple Patrick McDonagh, 19, and his eight months pregnant wife Shauna, 18, were speeding on the wrong side of the A40 when they crashed head-on into the coach.
Officers had called of the pursuit shortly before the crash, which also killed the couple’s unborn baby girl.
An inquest into their deaths was opened today in a brief 10-minute hearing at West London Coroners’ Court today (thurs).
Coroner Chinyere Inyama said: “There was a police pursuit, a man and woman were travelling on the wrong side of the road and died in a head on collision.
“The crash happened on the A40 in east Acton at about 9pm on February 10.
“Shauna Marie McDonagh, who was 18 years old, and Patrick Christopher McDonagh, who was 19 years old, were pronounced dead at the scene.
“A third person who was travelling with them in the car was taken to hospital.
“A number of people were treated by paramedics at the scene.Two people from the coach were taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.
“Police were pursuing the car for 10 minutes before terminating prior to the crash.
“A police helicopter was monitoring the progress of the pursuit prior to the crash.
“The Met Police organisation, because of the circumstances, reported the incident to the IOPC on February 10.
“A post mortem was carried on Shauna Marie McDonagh. She died from head, trunk and abdominal injuries.”
In relation to Mr McDonagh, the coroner said: “The preliminary findings from the post mortem found he died from a traumatic rupture of the aorta.”
Mr Inyama said he set a date for the inquest on May 14, after the IOPC investigation.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the pair, and the third occupant in the Renualt Scenic were believed to have been involved in an aggravated burglary in Harrow on the night of February 10.
But they have since said none of the people in the car were present at the break-in.
The second man’s injuries are not thought to be life-threatening or life-changing.
It is believed the couple married last year and were expecting a baby girl, which was due on Valentine’s Day.
The family of the pair said the couple were had already picked out Sienna Marie as her name, they said.
An IOPC statement said: “It has now been confirmed, as part of a separate police investigation, that the occupants of the Renault were not present at the time of an aggravated burglary reported to have taken place in Harrow.”
The IOPC said its investigation would look at “the information the police had and the rationale for the pursuit”.
By Grainne Cuffe
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