Hungerford Tesco crash: Woman died after husband used wrong pedal


Colombine CharnockImage copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Colombine Charnock was known as Chris to her family and friends

An elderly woman was fatally injured when her husband crashed their car by stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake, an inquest heard.

Anthony Charnock, 82, was not used to his new Skoda’s automatic gearbox when he crashed into the Hungerford branch of Tesco on 8 December.

His wife Colombine, 86, was a passenger in the car and died of her injuries, Reading Coroner’s Court heard.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of death by road traffic collision.

More on this and other stories from across the south of England.

The inquest was told that Mr Charnock was attempting to park in a blue badge space when witnesses described his car crashing into a number of vehicles before hitting the front of the store.

He suffered only minor injuries.

Mr Charnock, who said he had no memories of the events immediately before the crash, was inexperienced at using his Skoda Yeti, the court heard.

He added that he had since surrendered his licence and never wanted to drive again.

‘Beloved wife’

The car did not have any defects and there was no medical reason for the crash, the court heard.

David Russell, a police forensic vehicle adviser, said the collision was the result of “unintended acceleration”.

He said it was a “well-known, common scenario” particularly with older or younger people driving automatic cars.

Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford praised nurse Rachel Davies who was shopping in Tesco and administered emergency treatment immediately after the crash.

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Previously Mr Charnock’s family paid tribute to his partner as a “beloved wife, mother and grandmother”.

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