Basildon fire engine crash death 'accidental'

Broadmayne fire engine
Image caption The fire engine was on an emergency call when the accident happened

A mother-of-three, killed when she was struck by a fire engine on an emergency call in Essex, died in a "tragic accident", a coroner has recorded.

Martha Gakonde, 39, from Wythefield, was killed on 9 September 2011 in a crash at Broadmayne, Basildon.

The Chelmsford inquest, adjourned from last month, heard her Toyota Yaris had pulled out in front of the fire engine.

It had previously heard there was nothing the fire engine driver could have done to avoid a crash.

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Ms Gakonde had been returning home after dropping her daughter off at school.

Husband's faith

Dave Bill, assistant chief fire officer in Essex, said after the hearing: "This verdict underlines our unwavering belief that this was a tragic and unavoidable accident.

"Our own investigations and those of the police concluded that the driver of the appliance involved could not have done anything differently.

"Our sympathies remain with Mrs Gakonde's family and we will continue to support the driver of the appliance and his colleagues who all remain deeply affected by the incident."

In a family statement issued after the inquest, Mrs Gakonde's husband thanked emergency services who responded and said he took comfort from his faith.

To the firefighters involved he said: "A normal day at work ended rather differently from what you expected.

"No doubt you would have been greatly affected too by this tragic incident but rest assured in the words of a famous hymn 'It is well within my soul'."

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