Pensioner’s tragic road death

Pauline Preston
Pauline Preston

A 17-year-old who had recently passed her driving test lost control of her car seconds before a fatal crash, a Halifax inquest was told.

Pauline Preston, 66, of Skircoat Green, Halifax, died in May 2010 when her Ford Fusion was hit by a Renault Clio driven by Lydia Presley, of Norland.

The Clio was travelling towards Ripponden on the B6113 Greetland Road, Barkisland, with good evening visibility.

Miss Presley was last year cleared at Bradford Crown Court of careless driving when the prosecution offered no evidence before a trial was due to start and a not guilty verdict was returned.

Accident investigator PC Russell Windross told the Halifax Town Hall inquest the road had a 50 mph limit but signs indicated an advisory limit of 30 mph.

He said the Clio was being driven over the advisory limit over a crest on the road and the driver lost control and moved into the other side of the road. It ended up on its roof.

Miss Presley and her passenger William Morrison, of Stainland, who was also 17 at the time, could not remember details of the accident.

Mr Morrison, when giving evidence, disputed a police report from the incident scene saying he had said when the car was going over the crest of the hill he felt it had left the ground.

Coroner Peter Straker gave a narrative verdict and said: “Pauline Preston’s car was struck by a car travelling faster than the advised speed. The driver lost control and the car moved into her lane and caused her death.”

Mrs Preston, was a retired retailer who had been driving home from a family meal. She had two daughters and was also a grandmother and great-grandmother.

After the hearing Sharon Robins said the family hadn’t got justice for her mum but agreed with the narrative verdict from the coroner.

“I’m happy with a narrative verdict as one word would not have been enough,” she said.