Driver's remorse over death crash

A DEVASTATED driver has spoken of her remorse after her car mounted a pavement in a Suffolk town and crashed into two pedestrians – killing one of them.

A DEVASTATED driver has spoken of her remorse after her car mounted a pavement in a Suffolk town and crashed into two pedestrians – killing one of them.

Elizabeth Edwards, 67, said in an inquest statement that she had found it difficult to come to terms with the tragedy.

Nicola Platten, 47, died following the accident which happened in Southwold High Street on March 8.

The inquest into her death yesterday heard one theory was that Mrs Edwards' foot may have slipped because she was wearing muddy Wellington boots.


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Her Land Rover Freelander "suddenly shot off" and mounted the pavement, the inquest heard.

Mrs Platten, of Wilkes Farm Drive, Sprowston, near Norwich, became trapped underneath the vehicle and although taken to the James Paget Hospital by air ambulance died of her injuries shortly after arrival.

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The other pedestrian injured, 52-year-old Lawrence Lowe, also from the Norwich area, received chest and arm injuries. He did not give evidence at the inquest.

Lowestoft Coroner George Leguen de Lacroix recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mrs Edwards, of Strickland Manor Road, Yoxford, did not give evidence but a statement was read out on her behalf by solicitor Roger Allen.

In it, she said she had driven her Land Rover Freelander from Yoxford to Southwold to go shopping for her family's Easter eggs and had stopped in a parking bay in the High Street outside the United Reform Church.

"Having finished my shopping I returned to my car and the accident happened," she said.

Mrs Edwards said she had started the car as normal but it had "suddenly shot off".

A few days after the accident Mrs Edwards had a black eye and bruises on one side of her face and she thought this could explain why she could not remember the crash.

She said she was full of remorse and "wished I could turn the clock back".

Mrs Platten's death was something she would have to live with for the rest of her life, she said, although she found it difficult to come to terms with.

Mrs Edwards also said she appreciated that her own feelings could not compare with what Mrs Platten's family were going through.

At the time of the accident Mrs Edwards had been wearing muddy Wellington boots and one theory was this may have been a factor in the accident.

Linda South, of Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, and Marion Vandome, of Middleton, near Saxmundham, went to help Mrs Edwards and the injured pedestrians.

They said Mrs Edwards had told them she believed her foot had slipped because she was wearing muddy Wellington boots, the inquest heard.

Accident investigator Pc Derek Baldry, of Halesworth Roads Policing Unit, said there were no defects with the vehicle apart from damage caused by the accident.

Pc Baldry said it had travelled just over 28 metres – hitting a parked car, two half-barrel planters and the two pedestrians before coming to a stop after hitting a shop window.

He said Mrs Edwards would have needed to use the accelerator for the vehicle to have travelled that far but accepts there may have been "a degree of panic" on behalf of the driver.

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