Pensioner died after crashing in car park
A PENSIONER died after accidentally crashing his car as he tried to manoeuvre it around a car park.
Harold Bridgman, 85, tragically passed away on August 10 last year after two days of treatment in Bristol Royal Infirmary, an inquest into his death heard yesterday.
On August 8, Mr Bridgman inadvertently drove forward instead of backwards in the car park of Claremont Court, Clevedon, and hit the wall of the flats where he lived with his wife Joan.
Sergeant David Loat, of Avon and Somerset police, carried out a reconstruction to find out what caused the crash. In a written statement read out at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court, he said Mr Bridgman had been carrying out a "manoeuvre" in the car park and had intended to reverse.
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The car had an automatic gearbox and Sgt Loat believed Mr Bridgman had put it in forward drive, as opposed to reverse, when he pressed the accelerator and "shot forward", hitting the wall to the flats.
The inquest heard the airbags in his car did not inflate, but they normally only do so in a sudden decrease from speeds of more than 15mph, indicating that Mr Bridgman had not been travelling very fast.
Scans at the BRI revealed Mr Bridgman had suffered serious head injuries, including facial fractures.
The medical cause of death, concluded by the pathologist was heart and lung failure – "pulmonary thromboemboli and coronary atherosclerosis with thrombosis". There was also historic heart damage found.
Retired accountant Mr Bridgman was born on March 22, 1927, in Bristol. Passing a narrative verdict, Avon Coroner Maria Voisin said: "On October 8, 2012, Mr Bridgman had a collision in his car at his home address. He was taken to hospital but died on August 10 due to the injuries he sustained in the collision and medical causes."