Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Havant beach buggy scarf death 'freak accident'

North Street in Havant Image copyright Google
Image caption The accident happened in North Street, in the centre of Havant, Hampshire

A man has described the moment his wife was killed when her scarf became tangled in a wheel of their open-top car.

Gillian Sandle, 62, was in a VW beach buggy, driven by her husband, when the accident happened in Havant.

The couple, from Hayling Island, had gone to buy mince pies after visiting a car show, on 18 December 2016, an inquest in Portsmouth heard.

The coroner described the death as a "freak accident".

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Roy Sandle, a classic car enthusiast, did not attend the hearing, but in a statement read out on his behalf he described hearing a bang as he pulled away from a junction.

'Slumped in seat'

He said: "I couldn't understand what it was as I knew there were no cars around to have hit me.

"Gill had not shouted out or screamed - that was when I looked around and saw Gill slumped to her left side in her seat.

"My first thought was she had a diabetic fit, not that she had ever had one before, although she was diagnosed with diabetes some years ago.

"I reached out to touch her and called her name but there was no response."

Sgt Melanie Adcock of Hampshire police said Mrs Sandle's scarf was found in the road and it was "more than likely" it had become "entangled in the nearside rear wheel, causing fatal injuries" to her neck.

Assistant coroner Lincoln Brookes recorded a verdict of accidental death and said: "This is a relatively unheard-of incident. It's right to describe this as a very unfortunate freak accident."

He warned other drivers to ensure items of clothing or straps did not come into contact with their vehicle's moving parts.

A statement from Mrs Sandle's family said: "We're totally devastated at the sudden and tragic loss of such a wonderful lady."

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