Pensioner died after being hit by own car

A pensioner was knocked down and killed by her own car in a freak accident just outside her home, an inquest has heard.

Seventy-four-year-old Susan Tovey was being helped by a neighbour to move out of a tight parking space in 
Emily Frost Close, in Wickhambrook, in October 9 last year.

Yesterday an inquest in Bury St Edmunds heard how she had asked neighbour, former pub landlord Ray Featherstone, 72, to help her.

Police accident investigator Pc Andrew Fossey said in a statement that Mr Featherstone moved Mrs Tovey’s Ford Fiesta a short distance and then moved his own car to another spot.

The tragedy happened after Mrs Tovey was unable to release the handbrake of her car, got out and stood behind it while Mr Featherstone leaned in and tried to help.

Pc Fossey said as Mr Featherstone released the brake the car, which was an automatic and had been left in reverse, lurched backwards resulting in Mrs Tovey suffering “significant” injuries. She was declared dead at the scene.

It was unclear whether Mrs Tovey had fallen into the path of the car as she tried to get out of the way or was struck by it, said Pc Fossey.

The inquest heard that the Ford Fiesta continued backwards before finally coming to rest against a wall.

A post mortem examination conducted by consultant 
pathologist Dr Karl Love showed that death had been due to a skull fracture and crush injuries to Mrs Tovey’s chest.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner 
Dr Daniel Sharpstone recorded a verdict of accidental death.