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Blue Lake tragedy: Staffordshire victim slipped to her death from cliff top, inquest told

Penkridge | News | Published:

A Penkridge woman who died when she fell at an old slate quarry probably slipped from a cliff top, an inquest heard.

Sarah Brewster, aged 21, had intended to leap from the cliff top into the Blue Lake, near Fairbourne, in Gwynedd, Wales, but instead plunged 50ft to a ledge below and was killed instantly by a fractured skull.

Yesterday's inquest heard two of her friends had decided jumping from the cliff was unsafe, but Sarah had said she wanted to jump while a friend filmed her for Facebook.

Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones, sitting at Caernarfon, concluded that Sarah, a waitress, died due to an accident.

The inquest heard that she and her friends Katie Taylor and Victoria Walters had driven to the area at the end of May and first of all enjoyed a swim in the lagoon, with video recordings being made on mobile phone.

Blue Lake, where the tragedy happened

Miss Taylor was too upset to give evidence but instead her statement was read. She said Sarah, a friend for 13 years, had suggested the trip and on the way they had chatted, sang and laughed.

Miss Brewster said she was going to leap from the cliff into the lake, over the ledge, and asked for it to be filmed, possibly for her Facebook profile, the inquest was told. “I told her I wasn’t happy and it didn’t look safe and I wasn’t going to do it,” said Miss Taylor.

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The coroner said he believed Miss Brewster lost her footing, rather than jumping or diving. He said Sarah fell feet first and plunged to the ledge.

“To jump into the lake she would have to have done the equivalent of a long jump to clear the ledge,” he said.

Giving his conclusion Mr Pritchard Jones said it was a very dangerous place and to leap through the air “was a very silly thing to do”.

He added :“The warning is that leaping over an obstacle like this ledge to reach the water is something that is extremely dangerous and any failure would result in death.”

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