Full details of wife’s death after car ran over her may never be known
THE circumstances surrounding the death of a 94-year-old woman who died when she was hit by a reversing car her husband was driving will remain a mystery, according to the coroner.
But the death of Catherine King, which happened in Gerrards Cross on July 10, has been ruled an accident by Bucks Coroner Richard Hulett at an inquest on Wednesday last week.
Bucks Coroners Court heard Mrs King died when her husband, George King, 90, a retired managing director, was reversing a grey Honda Jazz out of a subterranean garage into an enclosed car park at their home on South Park Crescent when at some point he hit his wife.
Police were called at 11.15am. When collision investigator PC Adrian White arrived he found Mrs King ‘laid on her back, and her feet were no more than two metres from the off side of the Honda’, which had hit shrubs and trees.
He said: “The rear [of the car] had sustained extensive damage and the windscreen had smashed.”
PC White said that there were dirt marks on Mrs King’s abodomen, she had some ‘obvious injuries’ and her walking stick was found nearby, but because there were no independent witnesses he said there is ‘a significant lack of evidence, there is not a lot to go on’.
He added :“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find anything in relation to the vehicle to support that it did collide with a pedestrian.”
PC White said: “It’s clear from having assessed Mrs King she was driven over by the vehicle and died as a result, however there’s no physical evidence or witnesses evidence to have any firm conclusions.”
He added: “Mr King was driving. At some point his wife came to be under the vehicle but what I can’t say effectively is what led to that. I’m very confident that at some point Mr King and the vehicle have experienced unexpected acceleration.”
Consultant pathologist Caroline Graham said there were multiple injuries but the most serious were in the chest.
However she said the autopsy revealed the coronary arteries were not blocked sufficiently and there was no clot in the lungs which would suggest Mrs King had fallen, and while there were multiple grazes and cuts to Mrs King’s body, there was nothing that would point towards a suggestion of a point of impact.
Mr Hulett said: “There’s nothing that’s conclusive in any of this. There is no independent person to say what happened and Mr King is not well placed to tell us what happened.”
A conclusion of accidental death was recorded.
Mr Hulett said it was ‘quite impossible’ to determine whether Mrs King had fallen before she was hit as there is ‘no evidence to support it one way or another’.
He said: “I would call this an accident. I can’t see any other way to categorise it.
And added: “I’m afraid it’s a tragic outcome but there’s nothing more I can usefully say.”