'No explanation' for East Lancashire couple killed in crash on 65th wedding anniversary (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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'No explanation' for East Lancashire couple killed in crash on 65th wedding anniversary
A CORONER said there is no explanation for why a car carrying a couple who were celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary veered across the road before a fatal crash.
Great-grandparents Stewart and Honorah Graham died following the smash in Barrowford Road, Fence, on May 4 this year.
The 85-year-old pair, who had retired to Fence after living and working in Accrington, were on their way home from a celebratory lunch in Great Harwood when the incident happened around 1.35pm.
Karen Derbyshire, 52, told Burnley Coroners Court yesterday that the couple’s grey Vauxhall Astra suddenly changed direction and veered into the path of her car.
The businesswoman, who was travelling in the opposite direction, said she tried to mount the kerb to avoid the collision, but her red Vauxhall Astra was struck almost head-on.
She said: “I looked at their car immediately prior to impact. It looked as if the driver had slumped to his left side, or was trying to support the passenger who had slumped forward.”
Joanna Whitehead, who was travelling behind the couple, said Mr Graham had been driving normally before entering the wrong lane.
She said: “It was as if the driver had a blackout or was distracted by something.”
Pathologist Dr Salman Walid said there was no evidence that either Mrs Graham, who died from multiple injuries at Royal Blackburn Hospital two hours later, or Mr Graham, who died from multiple injuries and pneumonia eight days later, had collapsed from a stroke or a heart attack.
And PC David Horsfield, an accident investigations unit officer, said there were no defects in either vehicle.
Coroner Richard Taylor aid: “For some reason, that we will never know, it appears that the vehicle strayed out of its carriageway and into the path of the Vauxhall Astra.
“It appears that there was nothing, no hazard in the road, no obstruction in the road, nothing to have warranted such a move.”
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