Supermarket car park death was an accident

THE death of an 89-year-old man in a supermarket car park in Stowmarket was an accident, an inquest has heard.

Ronald Child, of Grinstead Gardens, Needham Market, was hit by a silver Volkswagon Fox in the Asda car park off Wilkes Way at 2.20pm on January 21.

The vehicle, driven by Theresa Cook from Wetherden, was turning right at an uncontrolled junction in the car park when the incident occurred.

Mr Child, a retired clerical officer, got his foot trapped underneath the car, and banged his head causing a skull fracture.

He was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds but died later that day at 5.30pm.

Pc Kevin Stark, a forensic collision investigator, said there were environmental factors that may have led to the accident.“It was a winters day and there was a low winter sun,” he said.

“In the photos taken by my collegues, there was a high-sided vehicle and that would have caused reduced view of anybody wishing to make that right turn.”

After declaring Mr Child’s death an accident, deputy coroner of Suffolk Kevin McCarthy said Asda had taken steps since the accident to improve the safety in its car park.

He said: “It would be wrong of me not to say that I am overjoyed that Asda has altered the status of the car park. It is losing some car parking spaces, upsetting some customers.

“But it is a small price to pay to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

A statement from Mrs Cook was read out at the inquest where she passed her sympathies to the family.