Inquest: 90-year-old woman died following Welwyn Garden City crash

PUBLISHED: 09:55 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 August 2018

Eileen Firminger died following the crash in Stonehills, Welwyn Garden City.

Eileen Firminger died following the crash in Stonehills, Welwyn Garden City.

Alan Davies

A 90-year-old woman died in hospital after crashing into a bank, an inquest has heard.

On July 26, Hatfield’s Old Courthouse heard how Eileen Firminger, of Welwyn, died following a crash in Stonehills.

The great-grandmother was warned by health professionals that she should stop driving until she had undergone a driving assessment with the DVLA, assistant coroner Edward Solomons said.

The inquest heard how on October 31, 2017, Mrs Firminger drove to WGC and parked close to Debenhams.

CCTV footage revealed that she got out of the vehicle, got her walking stick out, walked around the car appearing to check that it was parked okay and then headed towards the shops.

She shortly arrived back with some shopping bags and put them in the car.

PC Lister and PC Carpenter of Hertfordshire Constabulary attended the inquest to give evidence and to report their findings, having investigated the crash.

According to the officers, the CCTV then showed Mrs Firminger get back into her automatic car and attempt to move her blue Nissan into a disabled parking bay.

PC Lister said: “We assume she came back to move her car into the disabled space so she could park there for longer.”

PC Carpenter noted how Mrs Firminger did have a blue badge displayed in her vehicle.

A witness, Mr Wills, who was working in Haart estate agents at the time, reported how he saw Mrs Firminger struggling to park. CCTV also recorded her attempting the manoeuvre for four minutes.

According to the witness statement taken at the scene, Mr Wills then saw her “sharply” shoot forwards and heard a loud crash.

PC Carpenter told the court that Mrs Firminger had collided with the front of Nationwide, some scaffolding and also hit another vehicle, causing damage to its bumper.

PC Lister noted that she appeared to be wearing a seat belt when she first parked in the town but was not wearing one when she came back to move to the disabled bay.

The mother-of-one was rushed to the Royal London Hospital by air ambulance and died on November 6, 2017.

Mr Solomons ruled the cause of death to be fractures to her ribs and face, motor neurone disease and pneumonia that she had picked up after the crash.

•Following the inquest Mrs Firminger’s family showed the WHT a document from the DVLA dated July 11 2017 to Mrs Firminger, which states: “From the information we have received, you satisfy the medical standards for safe driving.”

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