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Home Canterbury News Article
Driver Anthony Delsignore, 81, died from his injuries three months after the accident in Military Road, while his 77-year-old wife Brenda died just two weeks later.
But a pathologist has concluded that while Mr Delsignore’s death was related to the crash, his wife’s was not – and nor was it linked to her husband’s death 15 days earlier.
Mrs Delsignore died of a stroke, but family members are convinced she simply followed her husband to the grave after 58 years of marriage.
The inquest at Canterbury Magistrates Court was told that the Delsignores, who lived in a bungalow in Island Road, were driving along Military Road towards the roundabout at just before 9am on March 15, last year.
Taxi driver Nashat Hamdallah was in front of the couple and saw their blue Honda Civic in his mirror.
He said: “As I got to the dairy, I suddenly noticed they were coming up behind me really fast.
“I moved out of the way and they then went into the kerb of the traffic island.
"It hit the roundabout and turned over in the air three times and landed on the other side of the roundabout.
“They had been driving at a normal speed and then suddenly picked up speed. After hitting the roundabout, they were more or less flying.”
Mr Hamdallah said he jumped out of his cab and ran over to the Delsignores’ car. He told the inquest he could see blood coming from Mr Delsignore’s face.
Crash investigator PC Mark Chapellhow said there was damage to the Civic’s bonnet, the panels had been gouged and one of the wheel rims had come off.
“But we could find no defects in the car which would explain why the car suddenly picked up speed,” he said.
“The driver may have mistakenly applied the accelerator rather than the brake.
“He may have struck the kerb and lost control.
“However, you cannot rule out a medical episode.”
Mr Delsignore, a retired builder, suffered broken bones as a result of the crash and was first taken to King’s College Hospital in south London before being transferred to Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital.
He remained in a coma throughout and died on June 7.
Pathologist David Rouse said Mr Delsignore also had a long history of heart problems.
“I took the view that he developed bronchial pneumonia following on from his multiple injuries,” Dr Rouse said.
“There was a lack of oxygen to the brain, which happens in old people. There is no link between her death and the traffic accident” - pathologist David Rouse
“This can be attributed to the traffic accident.”
Mrs Delsignore, whose maiden name was Coombs, also suffered broken bones and spent time in hospital before being moved to a nursing home in High Halden near Ashford. She died of a stroke on June 22.
Dr Rouse said that because Mrs Delsignore had been conscious and walking around before her death, her stroke “was completely unrelated to the traffic accident”.
He added: “There was a lack of oxygen to the brain, which happens in old people. There is no link between her death and the traffic accident.”
Coroner Rebecca Cobb recorded a verdict of accidental death for Mr Delsignore and a death by natural causes for Mrs Delsignore.
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