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‘Irreplaceable’ - heartbroken family pay tribute to grandmother hit by truck in Romford

PUBLISHED: 16:30 25 January 2017

Frances Ager and son Peter.

Frances Ager and son Peter.

Archant

The driver of a pick-up truck who hit and killed a 85-year-old grandmother wishes he could turn back the clock, an inquest heard.

Frances Ager, 85, died on March 7 last year after going out to post a letter in Mawney Road, Romford.

She was hit just after 7am and died little more than two hours later in Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford.

Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard driver Philip East recall the harrowing moment he hit Mrs Ager.

The builder told the court on Monday he did not see her and only became aware of her presence on impact.

The 54-year-old experienced driver had been on his way to a cafe near Roneo Corner for breakfast before a job in Brentwood.

“It’s something I will live with for the rest of my days,” Mr East said.

“Part of me has tried to forget what happened, I just wish I could turn the clock back and not have gone to work that day.”

Pc Van Lancker, a collision investigator, told the court evidence suggested Mrs Ager had likely fallen just before being hit.

He also said the pick-up would have been travelling at a reasonable speed of 20-25mph just before impact.

Assistant coroner Ian Wade ruled Mrs Ager’s death was as a result of a traffic collision.

He paid tribute to the “remarkable” 85-year-old and said the family had been “robbed of a matriarch”.

The family of Mrs Ager were in court to hear the evidence and released a statement following the inquest.

It said: “Our mum and nan was simply the kindest person you could meet.

“She was so generous that she would have given her last penny away to anyone who needed it.

“The first thing you would hear when you walked in her house was ‘hello love, would you like something to eat or drink?’ before preparing her speciality, a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea.

“She was such a lovable, irreplaceable, funny character who doted on her grandchildren. Her eyes would light up when she see saw them. We all miss her terribly.”

Patrick Maguire, a serious injury specialist lawyer at Slater and Gordon, who represented the family, said: “Mrs Ager was a much loved mother and grandmother and her loss has left her family devastated. We hope today’s inquest helps draw a line under what has been a very difficult period for them.”

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