Grandmother's crash death 'an accident'

A GRANDMOTHER was thrown through the air and killed when she was involved in a collision with a car as she walked to buy a newspaper, an inquest has heard.

Josh Warwick

A GRANDMOTHER was thrown through the air and killed when she was involved in a collision with a car as she walked to buy a newspaper, an inquest has heard.

Susan Garnham, 61, suffered traumatic chest injuries in the accident on March 23 and died soon after at Ipswich Hospital.

The inquest at Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House heard how the car's driver had since been charged for his actions leading up to and following the accident.


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The crash, which took place at 8.35am in Ipswich's Stoke Park Drive and involved a Fiat Punto, came after heavy snowfall.

Witnesses told police how the impact of the collision caused Mrs Garnham, a school administrator at Stoke High for 28 years, to be thrown against a sign post.

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Pc Michael Small, from Suffolk police's Roads Policing Unit, was one of the first officers on the scene.

He said he found Mrs Garnham, who lived with husband Mike in Hexham Close, Ipswich, lying on a grass area at the side of the road and was “clearly very seriously injured”.

He said: “The weather conditions were shocking. There was heavy snowfall immediately after the accident.

“The vehicle had lost control and mounted the pavement at the side of the road where Susan Garnham had been walking back from the shops.

“She was struck by the rear near-side corner of the vehicle and was thrown into the air.”

In recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “It's clear that what took place was a very tragic accident,” he said.

“The word 'accident' is entirely neutral in law and says nothing about individual liability.”

Soon after Mrs Garnham's death, Mr Garnham described his wife as “a friend to everyone”.

“We'd never been happier,” he said. “She was just so happy with life. She loved her grandchildren. She would do anything for them. She was generous - everybody loved her.”

Kyler Jackson, 18, of Blake Road, Ipswich, has been charged with careless driving and perverting the course of justice. He will appear before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on June 18.

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