Nothing could have been to prevent a car accident in which a 92-year-old woman from Northamptonshire died, an inquest heard today.
Pauline Grace Hart, from Guilsborough, died after the car she was travelling in, driven by her husband, 99-year-old Glanville Hart, drifted across the middle of the road and into on-coming traffic.
The inquest at Northampton General Hospital heard that Mr Hart “clipped” a lorry on its right side and then collided with the two cars behind it, causing one to swerve off the road into a ditch.
The incident happened as the pair were travelling southbound in a grey Volkswagen Polo on A5199 Welford Road between Spratton and Creaton on November 28, 2013.
Evidence given by PC Cliff Wilkins, who investigated the incident, suggested that Mr Hart had suffered an unexpected “incapacitation”, causing him to lose muscle control and allowing the car to drift.
He reported that the car had drifted about 60 centimetres into the opposite lane.
During the incident, drivers of the other vehicles said that they had seen the Polo ahead gradually drift across lanes in the seconds before the collision for no apparent reason.
They were treated for shock and minor injuries at the scene.
Mr Hart sustained no serious injury but Mrs Hart was taken to University Hospital Coventry where she died two days later of organ trauma which her body, due to age and previous heart disease, was unable to recover from.
In his statement, read by county coronor, Anne Pember, Mr Hart said that he could not remember the incident. He said that the pair had married in 1945 and that she was actively involved with her local church and Women’s Institute group.
Mr Hart described his late wife as: “A devoted wife, mother and grandmother who was well loved and will be greatly missed, reflected by the 198 people that came to her funeral.”
Mrs Pember ruled that Mrs Hart died of an accident and that she was satisfied there was nothing Mr Hart could have done to avoid it.
PC Wilkins said that Mr Hart showed a previous history of competent and careful driving and that it was “more important to show compassion for Mr Hart and his family, rather than subject him to any formal proceedings”.