June Murray died following a freak accident in December 2020 (Picture: Google/Wales News Service)
A grandmother died when the car she was getting out of started rolling down the driveway and pinned her underneath, an inquest heard.
June Murray, 76, had been visiting her son in Llandudno, North Wales, when the freak accident occurred on December 18, 2020.
She was getting out of the passenger side of a Ford Kuga when it suddenly started moving backwards.
The hearing in Ruthin was told her son’s partner Georgina Jones picked her up from her home in Kinmel Bay, Conwy, as she would once a fortnight.
In a statement read out during the inquest, Ms Jones said she parked up on the drive before heading inside to drop off some takeaway food, leaving Mrs Murray to get out of the passenger side.
She recalled: ‘As I came out of the house, I saw the passenger door open, but I didn’t sense the car moving.
‘But then June shouted “George, George”, and I saw the car starting to roll backwards.
‘She fell to the ground under the car. I thought it was going to run over her head, but it just stopped. I tried to run around and stop the car but couldn’t.
‘I know for certain that the handbrake lever was up. It was still up when I went back to the car to help get it away from June.’
Mrs Murray was pinned down when the car started rolling as she got out (Picture: Wales News Service)
Mrs Murray was rushed to the Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital but died from her injuries to her chest.
Coroner Kate Sutherland said it was impossible to know if the Ford’s handbrake was applied fully or not.
She recorded a conclusion of accidental death.
The inquest heard Mrs Murray suffered heart disease and scoliosis of the spine – which made it difficult for her to survive the injuries.
A post-mortem carried out by Dr Muhammad Aslam found a cause of death of acute heart failure due to heart disease and chest injury.
North Wales Police forensic collision investigator Gordon Saynor said parts of the handbrake were sent away for examination, but no defects were found.
He added: ‘There was slight rutting across the drive at the front of the house from where the ground had settled following building work in the past.
‘When the front wheels of the car were in this trench, the car would roll if pressure was applied, and the handbrake was not engaged or was only on by one or two notches.’
Ms Sutherland said: ‘The evidence doesn’t disclose whether the handbrake was not applied or whether it was ineffectively applied.
‘This was completely unintended and completely unexpected, so a conclusion of accidental death is appropriate.’
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