Freak death of former policeman's wife

A popular mum and nurse died as the result of a “freak occurrence” which saw her run over outside her home by a friend's car, a coroner said yesterday.

A popular mum and nurse died as the result of a “freak occurrence” which saw her run over outside her home by a friend's car, a coroner said yesterday.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong ruled that 47-year-old Louise Strong died an accidental death when the driver of a Range Rover lost control of the vehicle at Mrs Strong's home near Cromer.

Family friend Karen Humphrey had come to the Strongs' family home in Northrepps to pick up Mrs Strong and drive her to the North Walsham surgery where she worked. Mrs Strong was due to work a shift before starting a journey to London and going on holiday to Mauritius with her husband.

The coroner's court heard that Mrs Humphrey had parked the car, but had not intended to get out. But she decided to do so when she saw Mrs Strong struggling with a heavy bag.


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Specialist accident investigation police officer PC Wendy Biddle said she believed the car, which had an automatic transmission, was left in reverse with the parking brake applied as Mrs Humphrey climbed out of it.

The two women talked as they loaded the car up and both went to climb into the Range Rover.

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But before either could get fully into the vehicle, it started moving and Mrs Strong fell over and was hit, receiving multiple injuries. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.

PC Biddle, who examined the scene of the accident, said she believed Mrs Humphrey had touched the accelerator pedal as she got into the car, which automatically released the parking brake.

PC Biddle said Mrs Humphrey then applied the accelerator instead of the brake as she tried to stop the car moving.

The coroner also heard evidence from Mrs Humphrey, who was visibly upset and shaken during the hearing, and from Trevor Benson who was staying in the Strongs' neighbouring holiday let at the time of the accident.

Making his ruling about the accident on January 28, Mr Armstrong said: “This terrible tragedy arose as a result of a freak occurrence.

“Louise was a much loved wife and mother and a highly respected nurse. So many people mourn her loss.”

Mrs Strong was a nurse practitioner at the Paston Surgery at North Walsham and previously worked at another surgery in Cromer.

Shortly after the accident Mrs Strong's husband Steve, a former detective chief inspector with Norfolk police who now works for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, described how she had successfully combined her burgeoning career, continuing education, motherhood and running a home.

A collection in memory of Mrs Strong raised more than �4,000 for the benefit of the surgery where she worked.

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