Cardiff woman's police-van death ruled accidental

Winifred Greaves Image copyright FAMILY PHOTO
Image caption Winifred Greaves's death was "clearly a tragic accident", the police watchdog has said

A conclusion of accidental death has been recorded at the inquest of a woman who died following an accident involving a police van.

Winifred Greaves, 93, was crossing Merthyr Road in Whitchurch, Cardiff, at about 17:40 BST on 8 December 2018.

The inquest found that Mrs Greaves sustained a head injury after a fall in the road - she later died in hospital.

A police watchdog investigation found no evidence of an impact with the police van that "swerved to avoid her".

According to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which released its findings after the inquest, driver PC Paul Donoghue from South Wales Police "could not have taken any more preventative action than he did".

'No wrongdoing'

The IOPC investigation found it was likely that Mrs Greaves, from Whitchurch, stepped out as the police van approached. The officer braked, swerved to avoid her, and got out of the van to find Mrs Greaves lying in the road.

She was taken to hospital as a precaution, but her condition deteriorated, and she died the following day.

IOPC investigators attended the scene, obtained accounts from a number of witnesses, reviewed the police log and body-worn camera footage, and commissioned a report from a forensic collision investigator.

The investigator said that if there was any contact with the van, "it was likely to have been glancing and at low speed".

Catrin Evans, the IOPC's director for Wales, said: "Mrs Greaves' death was clearly a tragic accident and my thoughts are with her family and friends.

"It was important for us to investigate what happened and it's clear from our inquiries that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the police driver."

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