Seatbelt anguish of Nurburgring death crash which killed Halifax dad

Jon Thomas, 35, died when this Renault Clio, in which he was a rear seat passenger, crashed on the Nurbergring race track in Germany.
Jon Thomas, 35, died when this Renault Clio, in which he was a rear seat passenger, crashed on the Nurbergring race track in Germany.

A father-of-three from Halifax was killed when he was flung from a car in an horrific crash on the Nurburgring race track in Germany.

Jon Thomas, 35, was on a trip away with two friends when they bought tickets to take the Renault Clio they had travelled over in on laps around the race track, an inquest held yesterday heard.

Mr Thomas, from Mixenden and a marketing and strategy banker, drove the car around for a lap, the three checked the car over, and then Jon’s friend Michael Quinn got behind the wheel.

He lost control on a wet patch of road and the car went spinning into a crash barrier, sending Mr Thomas flying from the car.

Mr Thomas had been sat in the middle of the back seat and his other friend, Adam Robinson, was in the front passenger seat.

Mr Quinn told the inquest he had told Mr Thomas to put on his seatbelt but a report by the police in Germany said the seatbelt had not been used properly.

Mr Robinson said after the crash he realised Mr Thomas had taken the seatbelt meant for the person sitting on the left side of the back seat, and had clicked it into the incorrect button, meaning it was looser than it should have been.

He said he remembered the car going down a hill and into a right hand bend when the back end of the car slipped and they went spinning. He saw they were heading for a crash barrier and shut his eyes.

“When I opened my eyes I saw Michael was ok,” he said.

“Then I looked behind and Jon wasn’t there.”

He got out fo the car, shouting for his friend and eventually spotted him, lying on his back down a banking.

He said he out Mr Thomas in the recovery position and attempted CPR but Mr Thomas was pronounced dead by a paramedic a short time later.

Deputy Coroner Professor Paul Marks commended Mr Robinson for his resuscitation bid, especially considering the shock he must have been in from the crash.

Mr Quinn, who was injured in the accident and was in hospital for two to three days, said he was unable to remember much about the crash or why he had lost control.

The report by the German police said the accident was caused by incorrect speed on a wet road surface.

A post mortem showed Mr Thomas died from a head injury and his death was likely to have been instantaneous.

Professor Marks said recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Thomas lived with his partner and three children.

He was a member of Halifax Sport Karate Club and had achieved his black belt.