Accidental death verdict recorded by coroner after Sale Moor grandmother hit by motorbike (From Messenger Newspapers)
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Accidental death verdict recorded by coroner after Sale Moor grandmother hit by motorbike
4:34pm Thursday 12th April 2012 in News
A CORONER has ruled a verdict of accidental death after a grandmother was hit by a motorbike in Sale.
An inquest was told how Nora Higgins decided to ‘make the most of the sunshine’ and walk to her Sale Moor home following a party at her church.
Stockport Coroner’s Court heard today how the 88-year-old, of Oulton Avenue, left Sale Moor’s Holy Family Church at 5.20pm on July 23 last year and headed down Dane Road.
It was near its junction with Arnesby Avenue, where the road bends, that she decided to cross and stepped out from between two cars before spotting an oncoming motorbike.
It was at this point that Mrs Higgins sped up to get across the road but instead moved into the path of the motorcycle, which hit her with what police described as a ‘glancing blow’.
George Healer, the driver of the Suzuki bike, explained how he applied his brakes as soon as he saw Mrs Higgins and swerved to avoid her.
He said: “She looked at me and seemed to speed up. I applied my brakes and the wheel locked and I went into a skid. I tried to control it and angle the bike away but unfortunately we collided. I came off my bike and ran back to her.”
Mr Healer then called emergency services and Mrs Higgins, mum to Rosaleen, Mary and Thomas and grandmother-of-five, was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital where she died at just after 7pm.
Police confirmed Mr Healer had not been driving much faster than 35mph along the 30mph road and that a breathalyser test had turned out negative.
Three eye witnesses also confirmed Mr Healer had not been driving at an excessive speed.
Coroner John Pollard confirmed the primary cause of death was liver damage from the impact of the bike and recorded the verdict of accidental death.
He said: “I believe Mr Healer was travelling at about 35mph. I think he came round the corner and had a very short period to react.
“Mrs Higgins, quite understandably, saw the situation and sped up but moved more quickly into the path of the motorcycle.”
Speaking after the inquest the family said: “We miss her terribly and we were shocked by the events that occurred last July.”
They described Mrs Higgins, born in County Roscommon in the West of Ireland, as a devoted mother who spent many years in her retirement helping the homeless and travelling.