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Inquest unable to answer mystery of pensioner’s A11 crash

Suffolk Coroners Court
Suffolk Coroners Court

The question of whether an 88-year-old who drove his car into the path of fast A11 traffic had been taken ill or made a mistake can never be answered, a coroner has said.

Charles McCulloch suffered multiple injuries when his Volswagen Golf was struck by another car on the northbound A11 at Worlington on July 22 last year.

The inquest at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich today heard Mr McCulloch was just three car lengths away from a vehicle doing more than 60mph when he pulled out of Newmarket Road.

Driver Trudi Nobes said in a statement she attempted to avoid Mr McCulloch’s car but was unable to avoid an impact with its side.

Passing motorists and an off-duty paramedic tried to help Mr McCulloch, of Seymour Street, Cambridge, who had suffered major injuries but he died at the scene.

A post mortem confirmed death had been due to multiple head, chest and abdominal injuries. Mr McCulloch had also suffered a heart attack but it was not possible to establish if it was before or after the impact.

Police accident investigator Pc Andy Fossey said witnesses had described how they saw Mr McCulloch’s car begin to slowly cross both lanes of the dual carriageway immediately before the accident.

Pc Fossey said in his statement: “This sad event will be etched in the memories of those involved.”

The road was dry, nothing was found on it that might have contributed to the accident and no faults were found in Mr McCulloch’s car.

Mr McCulloch’s nephew William Cook said in a statement that his uncle came from Scotland before to Cambridge. He was a well-known and respected football referee in many leagues for many years.

Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley said whether Mr McCulloch had suffered a medical episode just before the crash or made an error of judgement remained unanswered.

Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion that Mr McCulloch died as a result of a road traffic accident.

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