A fit and healthy 92-year-old may have blacked out at the wheel before his vehicle was in collision with another car in Stanton-by-Dale, an inquest in Derby heard.
Retired farmer Ernest Glover, known as Denis, was pulling out of a driveway on to Main Street when his Suzuki Wagon was involved in a crash with a Volkswagen Passat.
He suffered multiple injuries, including to his head, spine and chest, in the ‘low speed’ crash on August 9 last year and was pronounced dead at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, deputy assistant coroner Louise Pinder said that ‘something catastrophic’ must have happened to him which made him either inadvertently press the accelerator instead of the brake or continue to accelerate into the road.
His son Stephen said Mr Glover had never collapsed or blacked out before: “He was fully compos mentis – you could have taken 10 or 15 years off him. Nobody believed he was 92 when they met him.”
Pathologist Dr David Green, who carried out a post mortem on the grandfather, agreed with the coroner that he was ‘extremely well for his age’, but added that he could not ‘exclude the possibility’ that his enlarged heart could have caused a blackout.
Collision investigator Pc David Pygott told the inquestthat at no point during the collision did Mr Glover apply the brakes. After the impact his car spun and hit a garden wall.
He had not been wearing his seatbelt, but Pc Pygott said it would be ‘conjecture’ to say that it could have saved his life in the circumstances.
Derby Coroners’ Court heard that Philip Winstone had been driving his Volkswagen ‘appropriately’ back to his Ilkeston home at about 5.50pm, when the accident happened.
Mr Winstone, who was travelling at between 10mph and 15mph at the time of the crash, said: “I didn’t expect the vehicle to do what it did.
“There was no stopping motion – my feeling was this car was going faster.”
Stephen Glover said his father learned to drive during the war 70 years ago and went out as far as Sandiacre from his Stanhope Street home two or three times a week.
He lived alone after losing his wife, Betty, five years ago. The couple had three sons David, John and Stephen and two grandsons, Matthew and William.