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Sequel to fall from bus - Inquest on Quorn woman - An unfortunate accident

Loughborough Echo 18th November 1938

After lying semi-conscious in Loughborough Hospital for nearly a month, following an assumed fall from a bus at Quorn, Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Storer (58), of 10, Soar Road, Quorn, died on Friday.

The North Leicestershire Coroner (Mr. H.J. Deane) conducted an inquest at Loughborough Police Station on Monday, with the assistance of the jury. The verdict was that death was caused by a blood clot in the lung, caused by injuries sustained in an accidental fall from a public service vehicle.

The jury added that the conductor of the bus, Walter Alfred Hackett, of 74 Brendon Street, Leicester, was not to blame for the accident.

Mr. J.K. Hawley represented the Midland Red Bus Co. Ltd., Birmingham, one of whose vehicles was concerned, and also in court was Headmaster-Commander F. Storer, R.N. of Chatham, brother-in-law of the deceased, who watched the inquiry on behalf of his brother.

The coroner in his opening statement remarked that apparently nobody saw what happened, but he assumed that Mrs. Storer must have fallen. The persons who had the bus under their charge had a statutory duty to take all reasonable precautions for the safety of the passengers.
John Storer, bricklayer’s labourer of 10, Soar Road, Quorn, identified his wife, and said that she had been in fairly good health. She had not had to receive attention from a doctor since they were married in 1920.
Dr. R.E.M. Paterson, house surgeon of Loughborough Hospital, said that Mrs. Storer was admitted on October 4th and died suddenly on November 11th. From the post mortem ordered by the coroner he found that the base of her skull was fractured, there was also a fractured collarbone, inflammation of the kidneys, some meningitis, and a clot of blood in the lung. There was no pre-existing kidney disease, and her death was directly attributable to the accident.

A passenger in the bus, Thomas Bampton, shoe clicker, of 121, Cossington Road, Sileby, said that while the conductor was collecting fares Mrs. Storer asked him (the conductor) to stop the vehicle. She passed to the front of the bus and he took it that she alighted before the bus stopped.

Wilfred Ernest Antill, clay worker, 32, The Bank, Sileby, another passenger corroborated this statement, and added that in his opinion neither the driver nor the conductor was negligent.
Hackett then gave evidence and said that he could not precede Mrs. Storer to the door because he was further down the vehicle. “I saw her get to the door, but I did not see her get off the step. The next I heard was someone shouting ‘She’s gone.’”

The coroner: Why did you not tell her to wait until the bus stopped? – Hackett: There are notices to that effect in the bus. If we dashed to the front every time we should not get our fares in.

Hackett said that when the bus stopped Mrs. Storer was lying in the road about 35 yards away. He did not know how she got off, although she might have seen her house and thought the vehicle had stopped.

Commander Storer asked Hackett various questions and expressed the opinion that his sister-in-law fell from the top step of the bus. He considered that the door should not be kept permanently open.

Hackett said in reply to further questions that two young ladies were seated at the front of the bus, but they were too upset at the time to give their names and addresses.

The coroner said that the case resolved itself into a simple question – did Mrs. Storer die as a result of an accident which might have been prevented? “I should imagine that she, like a good many female passengers, and some males as well, did not indicate her with to stop until the bus had got to the stopping place.” Whether she overbalanced on the not too convenient steps on this type of bus, or whether she attempted to get off while it was actually moving, they did not know.

He thought the conductor, might have taken one precaution. When he saw her passing to the door it would have been desirable for him to tell her to wait until the bus stopped, but they could hardly expect a conductor to that every time.

After the verdict has been returned, Mr. Hawley expressed the sympathy of the Bus Company with Mrs. Storer’s relatives.

 Submitted on: 2011-07-14
 Submitted by: Christine Sibcy
 Artefact ID: 1343
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=1343
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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