Great-grandmother from Blofield crashed after “medical episode” on A47
A great-grandmother from Blofield died in a car accident after she probably suffered a 'medical episode' at the wheel.
Phyllis Defoe died after crashing her car at the Brundall A47 roundabout on December 30, 2011, an inquest in Norwich heard yesterday.
Witnesses recalled seeing Mrs Defoe, 82, driving erratically and at speed on the A47 before she drove straight over the roundabout without applying the brakes.
The Toyota Corolla hit two trees with such force that the vehicle was 'unrecognisable', with the boot of the car almost touching the bonnet. Mrs Defoe, of Ropes Walk, Blofield, died at the scene.
Her son, Phillip, told the court his mother had had episodes where she was 'not quite 100pc coherent' before the accident, but that they had been 'few and far between'.
Following the inquest he paid tribute to her as an independent and active woman who 'lived her life to the full' and would be much missed by her friends and family, including three children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong recorded that Mrs Defoe died as the result of a road traffic accident.
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Eyewitness Molly Goodrum and her husband were overtaken by the 'silver streak' of Mrs Defoe's car as it approached the roundabout.
'We've never witnessed anyone driving so fast,' she said. 'I said to my husband 'whoever is driving that car is going to have an accident'. I know they wouldn't get round the roundabout. It frightened my to death because I knew something was going to happen.'
Another driver, Neil Alston, said Mrs Defoe's car had been veering as it travelled along the A47 at around 70mph, at one point scraping along the central reservation, before picking up speed 'very considerably'.
Mr Armstrong dismissed suggestions that Mrs Defoe had driven recklessly or been inattentive, and said a 'medical event or episode' was the most likely explanation.