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Ann and Paul Goodrich died when their son lost control of his car
AN INQUEST heard how a man tragically lost control of his car on Christmas Day last year in an accident which instantly killed both of his parents.
The crash, which claimed the lives of Ann Goodrich, 57 and Paul Goodrich, 56, happened on the morning of December 25, 2012, when the silver Volkswagen Golf driven by Darren Goodrich went off the B3349 Odiham Road at Heckfield Heath and collided with a tree.
Statements from witnesses, read out at the inquest this afternoon by coroner Andrew Bradley, told how the car swerved violently across the road, hitting a kerb and flying up in the air, then hitting a tree before falling to the ground and landing on its side.
Gordon Patterson, who was driving on the other side of the road at the time of the accident and was one of the first on the scene, said in his statement it was “a miracle” that Darren survived the impact.
He said: “I saw male climbing out of the back of the silver car. It was a miracle. I could not believe a person could climb out of that wreckage.”
He described how another witness, Gareth Lucas, called 999, while another driver who was a nurse comforted Darren, who was said to be in a “state of shock” at the side of the road.
PC Andrew McDonnell, who is based in Winchester, was one of those who investigated the crash.
He said that there was no reason why Darren, from Farnborough, would have lost control of the car in terms of the condition of the vehicle or the road conditions at the time.
PC McDonnell said: “The cause of this collision appears to lie solely with the driver of this vehicle.”
The inquest heard there was no evidence to suggest that Darren was speeding at the time of the crash, but was likely to have been travelling “at or around” the speed limit of 60mph.
Ann and Paul Goodrich, of Church Crookham, had been travelling with Darren, 30, to visit their daughter Hannah and her family who live near Reading.
Speaking at the inquest, their son said they had been in good spirits when he had picked them up at around 9.30.
He said that immediately before the collision he had felt the back of the car “step out” and, when he had tried to counteract the movement by steering he said the vehicle “violently shook”.
Darren, who was treated in Royal Berkshire Hospital for injuries he sustained in the crash, said: “That’s all I can remember. I distinctly remember the sound of glass breaking and I must have taken my seatbelt off but I don’t remember. I was completely disorientated.”
His father, who had been in the front passenger seat and his mother, who was sitting in the seat behind her husband, were killed instantly. They both died from multiple injuries.
Describing the accident as “tragic”, Andrew Bradley told those at the inquest in Alton Magistrates Court: “The only comfort I can offer you is that they did not suffer.”
He recorded a verdict of accidental death.
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