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BBC Wales's Laura Jones reports
"The family expressed their sadness at the tragedy"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Matthew Richards
"The Lleyn peninsula's coastline looks badly scarred from torrential rain"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's environment correspondent, Roger Pinney
"Last year there were five major landslides on the Pembrokeshire coast"
 real 56k

Eyewitness Owain Jones
"I heard a few rumbles and saw the mud slide down."
 real 28k

Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
'Sheer bad luck' for landslide victim
Race's car
The Race's car is protected for examination at the scene
The coroner at the inquest into the death of a 58-year-old woman whose car was swept over a cliff during a landslide at Nefyn in north Wales has said it was 'sheer bad luck'.

Recording a verdict of misadventure at Pwllheli magistrates, Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones said Shirley Race had 'simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time'.

Car at base of cliff
Wreckage: The landslip swept cars away

Mrs Race was killed in January when tons of earth - believed to have been dislodged by heavy rain - swept their car onto the beach on the Lleyn Peninsula in Gwynedd.

Seconds before, she had been sitting with her 63-year-old husband Donald, in a parking area overlooking the beach.

Relatives later told how Mr Race - who suffered serious injuries - had struggled in vain to free himself and their mother as their car was dragged over a cliff by a landslide.

The couple's car was one of seven vehicles engulfed by mud.

Couple stayed in car

The inquest heard from witnesses who say the first slip was almost silent, rolling in a constant speed down the hill

Witness Fiona Monroe told the hearing she went to the Races' car before the second slide and said they decided to stay where they were but minutes later a slide took the car over the cliff.

Mr and Mrs Race had taken early retirement and recently moved to Tudweilog near Nefyn, from the Manchester area.

Two landslips happened within minutes of each other just after 1130 GMT on 3 January at Lon y Traeth, on a long stretch of road which winds its way down to the beach.

Second landslide

The first sent mud, stones and sand 80ft down the cliff face onto a car park, jamming several vehicles against railings.

As people ran for safety, there was a second landslide.

The Races' car, and one other, were pushed onto the beach 25ft below, narrowly missing a chalet as they fell.

According to one report, just seconds before the landslide, the couple had been able to pass their pet dog to safety out of the car window.

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See also:

13 Dec 00 | Wales
Gales wreak havoc in Wales
08 Dec 00 | UK
Wales battered by storms
03 Jan 01 | Wales
Woman killed in beach landslip
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