Motorist carried out “ill-advised manoeuvre” by overtaking lorry, King’s Lynn inquest told

PUBLISHED: 08:46 19 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:46 19 May 2015

RTC on the A17. Photo: Paul Tibbs

RTC on the A17. Photo: Paul Tibbs

Paul Tibbs

A motorist carried out an “ill-advised manoeuvre” in overtaking a lorry before crashing into an oncoming van, an inquest heard.

Gloria Ainsley, 70, and husband Alan celebrated their golden anniversary months before the crash on the A17 in Tilney St Lawrence, near King’s Lynn, on May 2 last year.

Yesterday’s inquest in King’s Lynn heard that Mrs Ainsley, from Meadow Way, West Lynn, was driving the couple’s car with her husband in the passenger seat.

The car overtook a lorry, which it clipped, before losing control and swerving across the carriageway into the path of an oncoming van. Mrs Ainsley was killed at the scene.

Crash investigator PC Graeme Brookes said her “ill-advised manoeuvre” was the catalyst for the fatal crash, but he added that David West, who was driving the van, might have been able to avoid the collision, if he had acted differently.

He said: “Had he (Mr West) acted more appropriately and expeditiously the impact between his van and the car was unlikely to have occurred.”

Mr Ainsley, who attended the inquest with their two children, said they celebrated their 50th anniversary in March and had met when they were just 15.

He said his wife was a good driver and would not have overtaken the lorry if it had been unsafe.

He also disputed a report read to the court in which the lorry driver, Robert Sos, said their car had pulled out from behind him before overtaking.

Mr Ainsley said their car had been alongside the lorry and had not pulled out, however he said he did not see the actual collision, as he was bending down in the footwell of the passenger seat at the time.

John Woolston, who was driving a car behind Mrs Ainsley, said the vehicle had overtaken them, and was overtaking the lorry on the chevrons just before the two lanes became one.

He said: “The car seemed to shoot out in front of the truck, then shoot out in the opposite direction into the van. The van tipped over on its side and slid into our car. My partner was taken to hospital with chest pains.”

Mr West said he had just left Long Sutton after picking up pallets of potatoes and was driving back to King’s Lynn.

He said: “I saw the flashing headlights from the lorry. The car was erratically out of control. It was like a Formula 1 car testing its tyres.

“The car hit the lorry on the front and then came across into me. It turned me over. She had gone underneath me. I was cut free and taken to hospital.”

The cause of death was given as a fractured skull due to a road traffic collision.

Assistant coroner for 
Norfolk, Johanna Thompson’s conclusion was death from a road traffic collision.

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