Devon

Plymouth lake plunge death couple were on test drive

Car being lifted from the estuary
Image caption The Peugeot 407 was lifted out of Hooe Lake in Plymouth

A couple who died when their vehicle plunged into a lake were taking the car for a test drive, an inquest has heard.

Barry Froggatt, 75, and Barbara Lavery, 76, both drowned when the silver Peugeot 407 went into Hooe Lake in Plymouth on 25 August 2016.

Eyewitness Melanie Hogan said: "It was as if the car was going to stop but just carried on."

Coroner Ian Arrow recorded verdicts of accidental death.

Image copyright Plymstock Security
Image caption An eyewitness said he saw what he believed to be a policeman swim out to the car

Mr Froggatt was described as a former lorry driver with many years driving experience.

He had gone to McMullins garage on Barton Road to ask about a part exchange for his Mazda Bongo van, Plymouth Coroner's Court heard.

Trevor Nichol, from the garage, said he drove the Bongo with Mr Froggatt to test it.

During the drive they collected Ms Lavery and took her back to the garage. The couple then took the silver Peugeot 407 for a test drive.

Witness Ms Hogan said she was on the phone in her car, which was parked next to the lake, when she noticed the Peugeot pull alongside her.

The community nurse told the court the car did not accelerate but she saw the male driver look straight at her.

"He looked, and then away, and the car drove straight off the edge," she added.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites