Tributes to husband who died in Southowram car crash

Brookfoot Lane at junction with Cow Lane, Southowram
Brookfoot Lane at junction with Cow Lane, Southowram
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Tributes have been paid to a ‘kind and thoughtful gentleman’ who died in car crash in Southowram.

Raymond Oates, a former quarry owner, died in an incident when his Nissan Note came out of his driveway onto Brookfoot Lane and was hit by a Range Rover on May 16.

Brighouse Road Safety Committee campaigning to have chicanes removed from stretch of road outside Withinfields Primary school, Southowram'Pictured with the petition from 200 local residents, (from left) are:- vice-chair, Pat Oates and chairperson,'Ann Rutherford

Brighouse Road Safety Committee campaigning to have chicanes removed from stretch of road outside Withinfields Primary school, Southowram'Pictured with the petition from 200 local residents, (from left) are:- vice-chair, Pat Oates and chairperson,'Ann Rutherford

An inquest into his death was held at Calderdale Coroner’s Court and wife Pat Oates, vice chair of the Brighouse Road Safety Committee, paid tribute to her husband who she was married to for 61 years and how his death has impacted on her family’s lives.

“He would do anything to help anyone out. He supported me in everything I did,” she said. “His death has had a massive impact on my life. We had just celebrated our 61st wedding anniversary the day before.

“We would always sit down at the table and have our meals together. I now hear the house creaking and groaning.

“He was a kind and thoughtful man.”

The 81-year-old attended Withinfields Primary school and Hipperholme Grammar school before going to work in the quarry. As part of his national service he served in the armed forces in Egypt until 1965 before being deployed to Cyprus.

Calderdale Coroners Court heard how Mr Oates was setting off to Atlas Tip to take some recycling rubbish.

Mrs Oates explained that he was a cautious and considerate driver. “He would always stop at the bottom of the drive. It was necessary to stop to get a safe view.”

Mrs Oates was in the kitchen at the time of the accident and she heard a loud bang which she thought was the garage door.

However, she later discovered that it was the sound of the two vehicles colliding.

Sergeant Carl Quinn, of West Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Enquiry Team told the inquest that anyone coming out of the driveway is required to stop and believed that for someone as experienced as Mr Oates would know this.

Sgt Quinn explained that during the investigation there was no suggestion that Mr Oates’ vehicle had started to turn in any direction as it left the drive way.

CCTV from the nearby quarry also showed this and that Mr Oates’ car had travelled in a straight direction into the path of the Range Rover.

Sgt Quinn said the Range Rover was not speeding and there was nothing the driver could have done to avoid the crash.

The post mortem revealed that there was some evidence of heart distress but Mr Oates died of abdominal and spinal injuries caused by the road traffic collision.

Coroner Oliver Longstaff said it was one of the privileges of the job to hear the testaments of loved ones.

He said that Mr Oates having some sort of cardiac event could not be ruled out and Mr Oates could have been unconscious when the accident happened.

“I simply don’t believe that Mr Oates would have pulled out in the way he did.

“It sounds like he was a special gentleman and I hope the inquest will be helpful in part of the grieving process and the family can remember the great memories which I am sure there are many.”

A verdict of an accidental death was recorded.