Accidental death verdict for woman in caravan crash on A35

Accidental death verdict for woman in caravan crash on A35

TRAGEDY: Rosemary Evans from Poole died following a crash on the A35 near Askerswell last August

TRAGEDY: Rosemary Evans from Poole died following a crash on the A35 near Askerswell last August

First published in Bridport

A WOMAN suffered fatal injuries in a crash after her husband lost control of the caravan they were towing on the A35 near Bridport, an inquest heard.

Rosemary Evans from Poole sustained serious head injuries when the Land Rover Discovery she was travelling in overturned on August 24 last year on the A35 at Askerswell.

The inquest at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court heard evidence from witnesses, who said they saw the caravan behind the car ‘weaving’ or ‘snaking’ as it came over the crest of a hill, westbound.

Roger Tyrrell, a lecturer from Chichester travelling in the opposite direction, said he saw it ‘start to oscillate’ before it ‘drifted out of control’.

“The caravan came to a stop in the nearside lane, turned 45 degrees to the flow of traffic,” he said.

“The 4x4 vehicle then started to roll sideways on the road and came to a stop in the verge.”

Mrs Evans, 48 at the time of the crash, was with her husband Mike, who was driving, and 11-year-old son Josh.

Josh escaped without injury, while Mr Evans, then 52, suffered minor injuries.

Mrs Evans died at Southampton General Hospital on August 27.

The inquest heard that police expert Christopher Clarke had examined both vehicles and found no defects which might explain the crash.

Craig Judd, an IT manager from Poole, read from a statement he had made to police after reading about the crash in the Echo.

He said he and his wife – driving from Bridport to Dorchester – were concerned when a vehicle towing a caravan passed them ‘at speed’, and they had remarked on its apparent instability.

“We heard sirens later, I remember saying something like ‘I wonder if that is that Land Rover and caravan gone wrong’,” he said.

Mr Evans’ statement to police was read out in court, in which he said he had remembered having to brake suddenly as two lanes narrowed to one immediately before the crash.

PC Clifton Beard, who compiled an incident report, said various factors including excessive speed, weather and poor steering could lead to a caravan weaving, and minor factors could lead to that getting out of control.

He said the sudden braking of the Land Rover as the lanes narrowed would have pushed the caravan against the back of the vehicle, turning it.

Dorset Coroner Sherriff Payne said he believed Mr Evans had been the driver who overtook Mr Judd at speed, and he recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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