Cause of devoted family woman Gill’s death crash will remain a mystery
The reason for the death of a ‘fantastic and devoted grandmother’ who died following a collision remains a mystery.
Gill West, who worked as a dispensary assistant at the Hereward Group Practice in Bourne, died on April 6, 2017, after two weeks fighting for her life in the intensive care unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. She was 61.
Her inquest at Lincoln Cathedral Centre heard Gill’s blue Nissan Micra was in a head-on collision with a Kia Sorento 4x4 towing a caravan on March 22. It happened on the A15 northbound near the Quarrington roundabout, close to Sleaford.
In statements read at the inquest, drivers who witnessed the crash said Gill’s car suddenly changed course before the collision and she did not attempt to move out of the way of the Kia.
Gary Knight, who was driving the Kia, said, as he approached the roundabout, he noticed Gill’s car coming in the other direction, and it suddenly changed course.
He said that he had a clear view of Gill moments before the impact.
Mr Knight said she had her eyes open, her hands on the wheel in a normal position and he didn’t see her try to “turn the other way”.
In one of several witness statements, Carl Whitehead, who was driving a Vauxhall saloon, said as he turned off the roundabout he remembers seeing Gill’s car in his rear view mirror “a safe distance behind”.
He said immediately before the collision he “saw a flash of blue” in his rear-view mirror and then saw Gill’s car in his driver side mirror coming up beside him as the Kia approached in the other direction.
He said: “I have no idea why the other car moved onto the other side of the road. I remember being surprised that the driver had not corrected her direction of travel.”
Roger Wilding and his wife Shirley were travelling behind Gill in a Mercedes.
Mr Wilding said: “The blue car attempted to make a deliberate turn to the right.
“I have no idea why the driver of the car made the manouevre.”
Accident investigator Cameron Smith didn’t find any defects in the Micra, Kia or caravan.
PC Sheldon, who investigated the collision, told the inquest that she could not find evidence of any reasons why Gill might have changed course, such as “falling asleep at the wheel” or “avoiding something that had run into the road”.
She said there is a possibility that Gill could have “dropped something at the wheel” and when she “looked up was on course for the collision”.
She added: “We will never be able to say categorically whether that was the cause.”
A post-mortem examination concluded that Gill died of injuries consistent with being involved in the accident.
The inquest also heard a statement from Gill’s GP at the Bourne Galletly Practice, Dr Cregor, who said she had seen Gill for anxiety and depression but there were no concerns over her mental health.
Her husband, Lewis West told the inquest he could not explain why the crash happened.
He said Gill had suffered with anxiety and depression in the January and February before the collision but was in good spirits before the accident happened.
He said she had just returned from a holiday before the collision happened and was looking forward to starting a new job.
“She was completely relaxed and looking forward to a new period in her life. It was something that excited her, not worried her,” Mr West explained.
He added: “I cannot think of anything troubling her. She was looking forward to a forthcoming change of job.
“I found her driving to be fairly good. I am fully confident in her driving.”
Coroner Richard Marshall ruled that Gill died due to a road traffic collision but could not explain the reason for it.
He said: “She was on the A15 and moved into the other lane. Whether it was an attempt to overtake or not I cannot be sure.”
Gill, who loved to keep fit and was a member of Bourne and District Lawn Tennis Club, a keen badminton player, swimmer and a cyclist, had been on her way to collect her granddaughter from school at RAF Digby when the collision happened.
After the inquest Mr West said: “She will be really sadly missed, she was a fantastic mother, a fantastic person and grandmother.
“I think it is a mystery what exactly caused this accident.”