Car ‘pirouetted’ after collision in King’s Lynn, inquest hears

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

An inquest into the deaths of two women has heard that the car they were travelling in “pirouetted” in the moments after the crash in Lynn.

Jean Wilmore, 75, from Lynn, and Margaret Bradley, 87, from South Wootton, died after the collision on the A149, at the Castle Rising junction.

A hearing at Lynn’s Magistrates’ Court on Friday was told that on August 17, 2016, Mrs Wilmore was driving along Queen Elizabeth Way in the direction of Lynn when the incident happened.

The court heard that she was turning right towards Castle Rising and drove across the path of another vehicle which was heading in the opposite direction, towards Hunstanton.

The driver of this car, Darren Oakes, sustained serious injuries during the crash and was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for treatment.

Mr Oakes said in a written statement which was read to the court that he did not remember much from the incident, apart from seeing a bonnet coming from his right.

Crash investigator PC Lee Smart said there had been no evidence Mr Oakes was driving above the speed limit when the cars collided.

He said that there was an indication that Mr Oakes had reacted to the incident, by applying his emergency brakes and steering his car away from the hazard.

Mr Smart said: “Mrs Wilmore’s vehicle impacted with the front nearside of Mr Oakes’ car, which left the carriageway and rolled before coming to rest on its wheels.

“Mrs Wilmore’s car pirouetted twice before coming to rest.”

The court heard that Mrs Wilmore was pronounced dead at the scene, and Mrs Bradley was taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she died later that day.

Mrs Wilmore’s daughter Alison Barker said: “She was normally a safe and careful driver. If anything I would have expected her to have not been rash, but clearly it appears she made a mistake.”

Coroner for Norfolk Jacqueline Lake said: “It is stated that Mrs Wilmore commenced the turn [towards Castle Rising] early and she would have entered the offside of the road.

“She may have thought she had time if she started to turn early, but this turned out not to be the case. I make no findings as to what was in her mind at that time.”

She concluded the pair died of multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision.

Mrs Lake offered her sympathy to the families.