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Driver error led to his wife's death, inquest hears

86-year-old died following a collision at Hungerford Tesco last year

John Herring

John Garvey


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Family of Tesco fatal collision pay tribute

A WOMAN died when her husband accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, sending their car careering into Tesco shopfront in Hungerford, an inquest heard.

The hearing in Reading today (Wednesday) was told that Colombine ‘Chris’ Charnock, aged 86, sustained unsurvivable injuries in the collision, which happened at around 4.45pm on December 8 last year.

Mrs Charnock, a patient at Hungerford Surgery who lived in Buttermere, near Marlborough, was a front seat passenger in the Skoda Yeti driven by her 81-year-old husband Anthony.

Witnesses said that, as the car manoeuvred into a disabled parking bay, it suddenly shot forward, glancing off other vehicles – including the Hungerford Handybus – before ploughing into the store front.

See tomorrow's Newbury Weekly News for a full report of the inquest. 

Mrs Charnock's family released a statement following the inquest paying tribute to her and to all those who helped them during and after the accident.

"Mrs Colombine Charnock (known as Chris) aged 86 lived in Buttermere for 30 years. She was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother and a well-known local figure.

"She was a talented gardener and played a large part in the activities of The League of Friends at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Chelsea in London for many years. This included being in charge of the volunteer flower ladies and serving as the Deputy Chairman. 

"Another great love was the ballet and she went regularly to the Royal Opera house. She was a wonderful hostess, who loved entertaining and meeting people.

 "Her family are so grateful for the efficiency, kindness and care of; the Newbury Fire and Ambulance services, the medical team at Swindon Hospital, the manager of Tesco at Hungerford, Darren and his staff.  Also the local nurse, who was first on the scene and knew Chris. 

"A special mention goes to the Coroner's offices at both Wiltshire and Berkshire. At the Berkshire office Shane Edwards has been so thoughtful and efficient in guiding us through the inquest process.

"Finally, an extra special mention of appreciation for; Thames Valley Police, the investigating officer PC Dowding and our family liaison officer, PC Gareth Miles. Gareth’s support in the aftermath of this tragic accident was exemplary."

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