Catastrophic car failure led to fatal crash

Carole Broom Carole Broom

David Bale david.bale2@archant.co.uk
Thursday, December 12, 2013
6:48 AM

A tireless charity worker in north Norfolk died when a 1973 Rover P6 swerved into the path of her car, after it suffered a “catastrophic failure” in its suspension, an inquest heard.

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Carole Broom, 66, died from multiple injuries suffered in the crash on the B1150 Norwich to North Walsham road at Horstead at about 1.50pm on March 15.

Mrs Broom was well-known for her fund-raising – first for the former Cromer Hospital radio station where she was also a presenter, and more recently for the town’s Halsey House British Legion home.

A Norwich inquest heard yesterday that Christopher Stone, who was driving the Rover, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash, and did not remember the collision.

He said when he bought the Rover it was in perfect condition, but said he had since highlighted the car’s defect to other owners. No action has been taken by the police against him.

Crash investigator Simon Hall said the defect in the Rover caused it to cross the centre of the road into Mrs Broom’s path. He said a layperson could not have spotted the car’s defect.

Summing up, Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake said Mr Stone’s car suffered “a catastrophic failure” in its suspension, which caused it to pull across the carriageway and collide with Mrs Broom’s car.

Her conclusion was that Mrs Broom died as a result of a road traffic collision.

After the inquest, Mrs Broom’s son, Lee, said the family had found some closure in finding out how the accident happened. But he called for more stringent tests to be carried out on older vehicles.

Mrs Broom’s husband, Keith, was also in the car and suffered a broken foot, cuts and bruises.

The couple, from Chestnut Avenue, North Walsham, were returning from a shopping trip when the crash happened.

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