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Romford woman could have survived collision had she worn seat belt, inquest heard

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 August 2013

John and Trudy Stripe

John and Trudy Stripe

Archant

An inquest into the death of a woman killed in a car crash confirmed she may have survived had she been wearing her seat belt.

Trudy Stripe, 52, died of multiple injuries when her Jaguar collided with a Ford Fiesta on 21st March in Coxtie Green Road, Brentvvood.

Hearing evidence from the crash investigation team, the inquest was told Trudy’s car had crossed the road’s central white line causing her to clip the oncoming vehicle. The driver of the Fiesta, who was wearing her seatbelt, survived.

The inquest, at New Bridge House, Chelmsford, yesterday (Thursday) heard that the conditions of the road were dry and both vehicles were within the 60mph speed limit when the accident happened.

Toxicology reports from the post mortem found no traces of alcohol in her blood, and she had not taken any medication that would have affected her concentration. There was no evidence to suggest she had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Husband John Stripe told the inquest that his wife would, on occasion, not wear her seatbelt but always ensured she did when her daughter was in the car and on longer journeys.

John, 49, was driving home from work when he was diverted from the accident unaware his wife was involved.

He told the Recorder at the time: “The road I usually take was blocked off because of a crash. By the time I got home, I couldn’t get hold of her. I started to suspect what had happened and drove back there and discovered she was in the crash.”

The couple had been together 25 years and married 18 years ago. She had a daughter, Kesley, 27. Trudy, who grew up in Harold Hill attended Harold Hill Grammar before studying computer analysis.

Four years ago, she started a job as an events organiser at the Essex Party Shop, in Collier Row, as well as being a director at the couple’s car spraying business Pro-Stripe Bodyworks.

Eleanor McGann, assistant coroner for Essex, concluded Trudy died from an accidental death adding: “In life terrible accidents happen, had she be wearing her seatbelt she might have survived. It emphasises the importance of always wearing one.”


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