Couple in 80s died in HGV crash in Suffolk after possible “cardiac event”, inquest hears

The scene of an accident on the A143 between Great Barton and Bury. The scene of an accident on the A143 between Great Barton and Bury.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
5:11 PM

An 85-year-old man may have suffered an “acute cardiac event” which caused the road accident which killed him and his wife.

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Lindsay and Georgina Wise, who were killed in a collision in Great Barton.Lindsay and Georgina Wise, who were killed in a collision in Great Barton.

An inquest into the deaths of Lindsay and Georgina Wise, 87, from Stanton, heard today how their car had veered into the path of an oncoming HGV before the fatal collision.

The couple, of Michaelhouse Way, Stanton, were driving in their Renault Megane along the A143 at Great Barton at the time of the incident on January 29.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean read from the statement of Keith Jackson, the driver of the LGV, who had just delivered a load to Nottingham and was driving back to the depot in Norfolk when the accident happened.

The inquest, held in Bury St Edmunds, heard how Mr Jackson saw the red car move across the central white line of the single carriageway and into his lane.

“It was not weaving or going from side to side,” the coroner read. “He was hoping it would return to its side of the road.”

Mr Jackson began steering harshly to the right and braking, but the car hit the front of his cab.

Paramedic Hannah Schumann said the couple’s injuries were “incompatible for life”.

Consultant pathologist Dr Karl Love said they died from their injuries caused by the collision, but also said in relation to Mr Wise, an artist, there may have been an “unexpected coronary event” which prevented him from having appropriate control of his car.

Dr Love said the autopsy on Mr Wise identified several “cardiac pathologies”.

“Dr Love says it’s plausible a severe cardiac pathology could have precipitated an acute cardiac arrhythmia which could have contributed to the road traffic collision,” Dr Dean said.

Pc Jeffrey Cribb said the reason for the Renault to cross onto the wrong side of the road “cannot be categorically stated,” but considering all the evidence a sudden, unexpected cardiac event was the most plausible explanation.

In a report from the family they said: “The tragedy has concluded the lives of two lovely people who made a real and lasting contribution to the world and they will be greatly missed and greatly remembered.”

The inquest heard neither the Renault or the LGV were found to have any pre-existing defects which could have caused the crash, and alcohol or drugs were not a factor.

Dr Dean concluded the couple’s deaths were accidental.

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