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Jean Downing named as victim of fatal crash at Maidstone Hospital when car mounted pavement and struck her.

A family have described rushing to the bedside of a great-gran after she was struck by a car while sitting in a wheelchair in the grounds of Maidstone Hospital.

Jean Downing, 95, tragically died after the collision. It happened yesterday afternoon near the birthing centre at the back of the hospital.

A red Toyota Yaris reportedly mounted the kerb and struck Mrs Downing, who had just left an appointment to check on her pacemaker. She was with her carer Debbie Barnard.

Jean Downing, pictured on her 94th birthday
Jean Downing, pictured on her 94th birthday

Mrs Downing, from Staplehurst, was sitting in a wheelchair in the sun as Ms Barnard made a short walk to a machine to validate a parking ticket.

When she returned she could see a crowd of people who had rushed outside to help Mrs Downing. She was airlifted to King's College Hospital in London, but died later.

Her son-in-law Martin Knibbs said: "It is a tragedy and my mother-in-law suffered severe brain damage.

"We were able to be by her side on Tuesday evening and she was surrounded by her three daughters - my wife Myra, Julie, Ann and Ann's stepdaughter. We were all able to say goodbye.

"I'd also like to thank the police who blue-lighted our family to the hospital so we could get there quickly and Debbie Barnard, who is an absolute angel and couldn't do enough for Jean."

He added: "At first when I heard about the accident, I was angry and angry with the driver.

"But, we don't know why she was driving or what had happened - she may have just had some very bad news or made a mistake at the wheel.

"At the end of the day that lady will have to live with knowing she has killed someone and she has suffered a trauma too."

Mrs Downing, a widow, was born in Fulham before moving to Staplehurst in 1963 with husband Patrick, who she married in 1940.

She survived the blitz in London and once turned up to her job at a Lampshade factory to find the building had been destroyed by bombing.

The Maidstone Birthing Centre at the back of Maidstone Hospital, near to where the accident happened
The Maidstone Birthing Centre at the back of Maidstone Hospital, near to where the accident happened

She temporarily located to Hildenborough to carry on her job, before moving back to the capital.

After relocating to Kent she took at job at the Diagrits Factory in Staplehurst where she engraved tools. She retired in 1982.

Her husband, who worked at the Post Office counter in Maidstone, passed away 16 years ago.

Mr Knibbs, from Staplehurst, added: "She was a lady who took great care of herself and great care of her possessions.

"At the age of 94, she found a chip in her front door and she thought nothing of rubbing it down and re-painting.

A kitchen I fitted for her 30 years ago was still in immaculate condition.

"She also came round our house every Sunday for a roast dinner and one of her highlights was a latte coffee we made with a machine. She would let you gently pull her leg.

"She could still walk, but she had slowed up, which is why she used the wheelchair."

Mrs Downing also leaves eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Kent Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit is asking any witnesses who saw the collision or the vehicle before the collision, to contact the appeal line on 01622 798538 or email sciu.td@kent.pnn.police.uk quoting DS/MW/116/17.

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