Wickhambrook: Neighbour tells of devastation after fatal accident


- Credit: Archant

A devastated Suffolk man has told of the horrific moment his neighbour was run over and killed by her own car as she headed out to play bingo.

Susan Tovey, 74, died in the freak accident on Wednesday night in Wickhambrook, near Bury St Edmunds.

The tragedy unfolded after she tried to reverse out of a tight space in the residents’ car park in Emily Frost Close to go to bingo at local pub The Greyhound at around 7.20pm.

Good Samaritan neighbour Ray Featherstone, 72, looked out of his window and noticed she was struggling, and went out to move his car and help move hers.

After he was finished, Ms Tovey got back into the car to drive away but was unable to release the handbrake. She got out and Mr Featherstone reached into the automatic car to undo it, but the car had been left in reverse.

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The vehicle then flew backwards, knocking Ms Tovey to the ground and dragging Mr Featherstone with it.

The 72-year-old was only flung clear of the car when threads on his pullover jumper, which had caught in the door, broke.

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The car eventually stopped after it crashed into Ms Tovey’s house around 30 metres away.

Mr Featherstone, who has stitches in a cut on his head as well bad cuts and bruises on his arms, back and legs, said yesterday: “It’s hit me now, mentally. I’m all aches and pains, but I’m over that. She’s not there anymore - I feel awful, to be honest. I feel terrible. Why did I have to go to the window?

“I lay there for 30 seconds afterwards and I was scared to move, thinking ‘am I paraplegic’? I was so lucky - if I’d gone the other way, it [the car] would have gone over me.”

Paramedics, volunteers from the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service and police all attended the incident but were unable to save Ms Tovey, who died at the scene.

Mr Featherstone was taken to West Suffolk Hospital and released later that evening.

A landlord of The Brook in Great Cornard for eight years in the 1980s, Mr Featherstone to regularly go round and do odd jobs for Ms Tovey, as well as helping out other neighbours in the close.

He paid tribute to Ms Tovey, saying: “I knew she wasn’t well, but she was a little fighter and I really admired her for that.”

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