Inquest hears of 87-year-old woman's death in Cleeve Hill crash
A MOMENTARY lack in concentration led to a driver drifting off the road and smashing into a car port in a crash which killed his wife, an inquest heard.
Great-grandmother Muriel Sallis died instantly from her head injuries following the collision on Cleeve Hill on December 9, last year at around 2.15pm.
Yesterday Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court heard her husband Keith was not speeding and had not lost control of their grey Vauxhall Astra before it left the road.
Mrs Sallis, from Winchcombe, was the front seat passenger as the vehicle mounted the kerb and hit a sign post before crashing into a home’s fence and the concrete posts of its car port.
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PC Simon Edwards told the inquest the roof beam of the port had smashed through the car, leaving 87-year-old Mrs Sallis with the fatal injuries.
He told the court his investigations had led him to believe Mr Sallis had failed to adjust his steering around the second curvature of the bend just past the garage.
He said: “It was probably due to a momentary lapse in concentration.
“He had informed the DVLA of his angina and it is possible he was having a minor medical incident.”
Richard Coster was travelling in front of the elderly couple, who had been returning from a family event in Stroud, that day.
He told the court what he saw.
In his statement he said: “I heard a crunching and a thud sound and saw a blur of a car and my initial thought was a tree had landed on a car.
“I saw white smoke coming from the car and pulled over.”
Assistant deputy coroner Katy Skerrett said: “I am confident there are no speed issues here and it appears control of the car was not lost.
“The car effectively drifted off the road and Mr Sallis failed to adjust his steering.
“It was a very straight forward mistake with tragic consequences.
“It was a momentary loss in concentration and it is very easy to make.” She recorded the death was as a result of the road traffic collision and head injuries.
Mr Sallis, 88 at the time of the crash, suffered minor injuries in the smash.
Mrs Sallis, a keen gardener and walker, was described in her obituary notice as a “much loved” mother, granny and great-grandma.
It stated she would be “greatly missed by family and friends”.
Her death led to calls to do something about the winding B4632 as neighbours said their walls had frequently been damaged in the past by accidents.
Mrs Salliss left behind her husband Keith, along with two children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.