AN inquest heard how two people tragically died in a five-vehicle crash, which a coroner described as a "combined tragedy of gigantic proportions".

In an inquest at Bradford Coroners' Court on Monday, senior coroner Martin Fleming concluded that Oliver Knott, 21, a university student who grew up in Bradford, and Maisie Ryan, 27, a doctor at Airedale Hospital, died instantaneously as a result of fatal injuries sustained in the crash on the A65 Wharfedale Road near Addingham on the morning of February 18, 2021. 

In a statement, witness Lauren Richardson, who was driving a white Ford Fiesta which had been hit by debris from the crash, said she saw the Skipton-bound black Ford Fiesta driven by Mr Knott "suddenly veer and cross to the other side of the road" and collide with the driver's side of a green Scania lorry carrying 16 cattle driven by Anna Robinson.

Robert Crispin, a forensic collision investigator for West Yorkshire Police, told the inquest that the impact of the crash crushed the Fiesta, which had been performing an overtaking manoeuvre, and broke a steering box on the Ilkley-bound livestock lorry causing the driver to lose control.

He said the Scania crossed the road and hit the rear offside of a white Volvo HGV driven by Roy Clifford before colliding "heavily" with a grey Fiat 500 driven by Miss Ryan.

After hearing witness statements and evidence by Mr Crispin and DC Martin Burns, of West Yorkshire Police, Mr Fleming said: "Oliver tried to overtake a lorry and in doing so collided with a Scania HGV driven by Anna Robinson.

"She lost directional control and collided with a HGV and then directly into the path of Maisie's vehicle. Maisie died instantaneously as did Oliver. Anna was very seriously injured and required extensive treatment."

In what he described as a "combined tragedy of gigantic proportions", Mr Fleming said: "Maisie Ryan died as a result of a road traffic collision. Maisie was overtaken by a vehicle which collided with an oncoming vehicle. As a result, it collided with her vehicle.

"Oliver Knott died inadvertently when he overtook a vehicle and crossed into the lane of an oncoming vehicle, causing him to sustain fatal injuries. The cause of how this happened is unknown.

"Oliver veered into the opposing lane into the Scania, which then tragically went into the path of Maisie's car.

"The causation of the collision rested with Oliver, albeit for reasons unknown."

Miss Ryan, who lived in Leeds, was a doctor at Airedale Hospital.

In a statement, her father Paul Ryan, said: "Maisie was a selfless, loving young woman who aspired to be a doctor since she was 11 years old.

"Her favourite time of year was Christmas and she loved to get her family together to celebrate."

She was also dedicated to raising money for charity and helping people and broke off a tour of the South Pacific at the onset of the pandemic to help patients. 

Mr Knott's father, Craig Knott, said Oliver was a former student at Thackley Primary School and Immanuel College who found school easy and whose favourite subject was Geography.

"A former teacher of his said he would make a great teacher because he had a great ability to command a room."

He also excelled as a goalkeeper at Thackley Juniors. Although he was scouted by Guiseley AFC, he remained at Thackley to play alongside his friends and focus on his studies for university, where he went to Liverpool to study Geography.

"Oliver brought an energy to our family dynamic. The impact of losing Oliver is impossible to put into words."

In his final summary, Mr Fleming also offered his heartfelt condolences to both families.

In concluding what he called a "desperately sad inquest", Mr Fleming added: "This involved the loss of two young promising individuals so ahead of their time. I'm so very sorry."