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Family of man killed in Egypt 'still in the dark after five years'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 01, 2012

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The family of a man killed in an horrific car smash in Egypt say they have not yet learned the truth about what happened, more than three years later.

Stephen Minors, who grew up in Truro, died along with the driver of his taxi and three others in a crash which also left his friend with serious injuries.

At a resumed inquest to which the Egyptian authorities had submitted just two single-page documents, his son Nathan said they still didn't know the circumstances of the incident.

"It's been three years since it happened and the only thing we know is what friends of dad have told us," he said. "I don't know what happened. I'm still in the dark after three years."

Mr Minors moved from his home in Shortlanesend, near the Cornish city, to a forces base in the Sinai Desert in 2000 to work as a chef.

On May 15, 2009, the 52-year-old had travelled into Cairo to visit a dentist and met up with a friend, Jim Hill.

Mr Minors' sister-in-law, Lorraine Toy, said the two men had then got into a taxi.

"Jim was sitting in the front seat of the taxi and the car was stationary," she said.

"Stephen was sitting behind the driver when a vehicle came across the road and turned upside down on top of them.

"Jim saw the vehicle coming towards them, but Stephen had no idea, which I think is a blessing.

"Jim was seriously injured and almost died, but Stephen and the taxi driver both died."

Mr Minors' ex-wife, Lynn Griffiths, told the inquest that they had been told a total of five people were killed in the pile-up, while the driver of the vehicle which struck them walked away with cuts and bruises.

"I was told that the guy was taken into custody for his own safety. Five people were killed that day and there were a lot of angry people around.

"One of the chaps on the base where Stephen worked told me that."

Cornwall Coroner Emma Carlyon said official details on the incident were scant, despite the high death toll.

She said the court had received just two pieces of paper and neither were very helpful in helping her reach a verdict.

According to the hospital in Cairo where Mr Minors' was initially taken, he died from a catastrophic head injury suffered in the crash.

However a post-mortem examination conducted at the Royal Cornwall Hospital after Mr Minors' body was repatriated found that he died from internal bleeding as a result of chest injuries.

Dr Carlyon said the case needed further examination and with the agreement of Mr Minors' family adjourned the inquest, adding: "If there was an ongoing criminal case in Egypt it might explain why there were so few papers sent to me."

Outside the Coroner's Court, Mrs Toy said the family still had a lot of questions: "We are pleased the investigation is continuing.

"It's been three years and we feel we are just getting started."

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