Teenager killed in crash ‘had cancer all-clear a month ago’

Jade Best (right) killed in fatal car crash on Thornton Road with her mother Karen
Jade Best (right) killed in fatal car crash on Thornton Road with her mother Karen

A 19-year-old woman who was killed with two friends in a road crash had recently recovered from cancer, according to emotional tributes.

The teenager, named yesterday as Jade Best, was only given the all-clear around a month ago, grieving friends have said.

She was travelling in the back of a black Mitsubishi Evolution when it left the road and crashed into a hairdresser’s shop in Bradford around 11pm on Monday. She died instantly.

Father-of-two Jonathan Adam Ruthven, 27, who had been driving, and a 32 year-old man who has yet to be named, were also killed.

All three, from the village of Denholme, were pronounced dead at the scene in Thornton Road, Thornton, despite efforts from passers-by and the fire service to save them.

Tributes have been paid to Jade on the social networking website Facebook since the tragedy happened.

One said: “She’d just got the all-clear from cancer and then lost her life in a car accident at 19. It’s absolutely devastating.”

Another said: “I can’t believe it, she had cancer and got the all clear last month and dies the month after in a car crash the poor lass did not deserve it, she deserved a second chance xx.”

Local newsagent Surinder Singh Atwal, 49, who knew Jade and Adam as customers, said: “I think she had cancer for a couple of years with her treatment.

“I didn’t know her at the time but her hair was receding and then she got a wig. She used to say ‘I’m bald’ and I’d say ‘you’ve still got more than me’.

“She was a very strong character who got over cancer, she had her chemotherapy and her treatment.

“She got clear about a month or so ago, just before her birthday, everyone was really happy for her that she got the all-clear.”

Mr Atwal described Mr Ruthven as a “hard-working lad” who “was crazy about his cars”.

He said he had spoken to Mr Ruthven on Monday afternoon about a job in a Chinese takeaway but he told Mr Atwal “he was going to buy and sell cars with his mate”.

Fire brigade watch commander Mike Smith said: “One man was pronounced dead at the scene. We tried basic life support but the other two died at the scene very soon after.”

Around 60 bunches of flowers have been left by friends and family.

Police Chief Superintendent Angela Williams said: “We believe it was only this vehicle with these three people in who were involved in the incident.”

She said initial inquiries “suggest high speeds were involved” but was unable to say how fast.

She added: “All these people came from Denholme, it is just a small village just a few miles away from where we are stood now.

“This will really have wrecked that community and upset them because all these people were from there and obviously our thoughts are going out to the families.”

The hairdresser’s shop, Michelle Champion Hair Design, sustained some structural damage but was not occupied at the time.

Nobody else was hurt during the incident.

Engineers were called out to advise crews extracting the vehicle from the building which contractors then worked on to make safe enough for the road to re-open.

The crash happened at a junction with Kipping Lane close to a spot where two teenagers died in a collision five years ago.

Isaac Bishop, 15, was killed when he lost control of a stolen Peugeot 206 in November 2007. Chloe Benn, 15, who had been travelling in the back, died later in hospital.

The area has been notorious for the number of traffic accidents that have happened.

A string of serious collisions in led to the speed limit on Thornton Road being lowered to 30mph.