Man charged over lake deaths of mum and girl

Lauren Thornton, 10, and her mother Kelly Webster, 36
Lauren Thornton, 10, and her mother Kelly Webster, 36
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A man has been charged with manslaughter by gross negiligence over the death of a mother and daughter on Lake Windermere.

Kelly Webster, 36, and her 10-year-old daughter Lauren Thornton were found unconscious in a boat on the lake last year.

The Leyland mum and daughter were airlifted to Lancaster Royal Infirmary, but doctors were unable to save them.

Yesterday it was announced that Matthew Eteson, aged 40 from Church Road, Leyland, has been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence over the deaths on April 1, 2013.

Police, along with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, have been conducting a joint investigation and a file of evidence was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Hundreds of people turned out for the funeral of the popular mother and daughter, who were buried together.

Lauren’s father Neil Thornoton described the 10-year-old as “the most loving, caring, beautiful and happy girl in the whole wide world”.

Her grandmother Nia, of Golden Hill Lane, Leyland, said: “Lauren didn’t have a care in the world.

“She loved spending time with her mum and was at the age where they had just started to go shopping together and getting their nails manicured.

“They were very, very close.”

A police spokesman said that the family of Kelly and Lauren have been supported by officers throughout the investigation and have been kept informed at each stage.

They continue to receive this support from officers at this time.

Eteson will appear before South Lakeland Magistrates Court on Wednesday, June 18.