Medical episode likely to have caused death of Haverhill grandmother Teresa Smith

Teresa Smith was described by her family as being caring, selfless and thoughtful. Picture: SUFFOLK

Teresa Smith was described by her family as being caring, selfless and thoughtful. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

The inquest into the death of a woman from Haverhill who collided with a tree last November has concluded that the collision occurred as a result of a medical episode.

68-year-old Teresa Smith, from Havehill died at the Arthur Rank Hospice near Cambridge on December 16 after being involved in a crash on the A143 on November 25.

Mrs Smith had been driving a Toyota MR2 along the A143 at Little Wratting when her car left the carriageway and collided with a tree.

The emergency services worked to free Mrs Smith from the car from where she was taken to hospital.

Shortly afterwards Mrs Smith’s family paid tribute to her describing her as caring, selfless and thoughtful.


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“Her presence lit up the room in times of joy, spreading cheer, warmth and happiness,” they said in a statement.

Speaking at the inquest was PC Barry O’Neil from Suffolk police.

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Mr O’Neil said that conditions on the day had been cold but dry.

He added that both the road conditions and the state of Mrs Smith’s car were in good working order at the time of the crash.

Reading statements given by Mrs Smith’s children assistant coroner for Suffolk Dr Dan Sharpstone said that Mrs Smith had known the A143 well, using it regularly to visit her daughter who lived nearby.

Her son Andrew added in his statement that Mrs Smith was a confident driver.

“It was as if my mother could get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive with confidence,” said Mr Smith.

The inquest heard how Mrs Smith had a passion for cars which she had inherited from her father who had once raced cars at Monte Carlo and that she had spent much of her life driving.

In the statements it was also noted that Mrs Smith had been feeling unwell previous to the collision.

The inquest heard how her family recalled her having a headache the night before the crash.

Her records also showed that Mrs Smith had previously had a myocardial infarction or heart attack.

Having considered all the possible options for Mrs Smith’s death Dr Sharpstone said: “I think the most likely cause of this accident is a medical event of a cardiac nature.”

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