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Teenage girl in triple death crash 'had beaten cancer'
Tributes have been paid to three friends who died in an horrific high-speed crash in Bradford.
They were travelling in a high-performance Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution which went out of control and ploughed into a hairdressing salon in Thornton.
Two of the victims have been named locally as Jade Best, 19, who was travelling in the back, and dad-of-two Adam Ruthven, 27, who was driving. Both lived in Denholme.
The other man, who was the front seat passenger, was a 32-year-old, who lived in Thornton.
He has been named locally as Danny and is reported to have worked with Adam as delivery drivers at the Pizza Delight takeway in Thornton.
Village newsagent Surinder Singh Atwal said he was stunned when he learned of the tragedy which claimed the lives of two people he knew well.
Mr Atwal said: “I feel so sad for Adam and Jade, I knew them both but my heart, especially, goes to the girl.
“She was a little fighter, she had already been so brave battling cancer and had only been given the all-clear about a month or so ago. I used to salute her every time I saw her.
“We’d chat a bit, when she’d lost all her hair I’d tell her she was still beautiful because she was.
“As a parent this is what you dread ever happening to you – that one night you will get a knock at the door or a phone call.”
Mr Atwal described Adam as a “hard-working lad”.
He said: “I’d only been speaking to him earlier that day. He’d just jacked his job in at the pizza place next to here and told me he was starting to buy and sell cars.
“He loved his cars. He was just a young lad, trying to make ends meet and do the best for his family. He had two children, one who is six, I think, and a little baby.”
All three died at the scene of the crash which happened when the Mitsubishi was travelling along Thornton Road towards Bradford shortly after 11pm on Monday.
Adam was driving the car which careered off the road side-on into Michelle Champion Hair Design on the corner of Thornton Road and Kipping Lane.
Andy Rushworth, who lives a few doors down from the scene and works in the nearby picture framer’s, said: “I was the first to get to them, I was just in the kitchen when I heard it happen and felt the vibrations come through the floor.
“I went outside and saw the car sideways with the bonnet facing into Thornton Road. My girlfriend came out in her dressing gown, she knows first aid. The driver was slumped over the passenger.
“The passenger had gone forward on to the dashboard. There was nothing we could do for the driver – he had already gone. But the passenger was still breathing – we tried to help him then the emergency services were here in minutes and moved us away.
“The tragedy is – and it’s unbelievable – but we didn’t realise the girl was in the back, we didn’t know anybody else was there.”
Help also came from other people who heard the smash and ran out to see what had happened.
A man, who did not want to be named, was a former neighbour of Adam and had come to leave flowers at the scene.
He said: “Adam would always stop and say hello. I used to live near him and would have a few drinks. He liked playing with cars, it was his thing. He seemed to have a new one every week.”
He added: “I didn’t know Jade quite as well as him but I knew her more from her parents who drank in The Royal in Denholme – she was a lovely girl.”
Watch commander Mike Smith, of Fairweather Green station, confirmed one of the men had already died when they arrived and that crews tried basic life support but the other two car occupants were pronounced dead very soon afterwards.
Emergency services were at the scene until about 5am yesterday. Engineers had also been 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.
Metal fencing today still surrounded the semi-demolished corner of the hair studio with windows and the doorway boarded up and panes of glass shattered on the ground.
Chunks of stone from the lower part of the building were knocked out of place by the force of the impact leaving the side window jutting out towards the road.
Inside the premises, metal support rods could be seen supporting the building with lumps of stone and debris scattered across its floor.