A YORK accountant died when she rounded a blind bend to be confronted by a tractor on the roadside trimming the hedge, an inquest has heard.
Tragedy struck as Christine Frances Andrew, 54, was driving down a country lane ten minutes after she left home in her Rover 25 to go to work.
She desperately tried to stop but because her car did not have assisted braking, the wheels locked and she was unable to steer, the hearing was told.
She skidded straight into the path of a fuel tanker and collided with it, despite Scania driver Noel James Harrison veering on to the the grass verge in an attempt to get out of the way.
Mr Harrison told the inquest hearing he could see the tractor “crawling” ahead as he drove down Sheriff Hutton Road in Strensall around 9.10am on August 15.
He had been carrying 12,000 litres of diesel to make a delivery to a farm as he passed the tractor, spotted the Rover, and took evasive action.
“Within two seconds the Rover had hit me head-on,” he said.
“My window was down and inch or two and I could hear the Rover applying its brakes and skidding.”
He phoned 999 while the tractor driver, Anthony Scarborough, tried in vain to get the Rover’s doors open.
An ambulance worker later released Miss Andrew, of Farlington, near Easingwold, but she died at the scene from head injuries.
The inquest at New Earswick Folk Hall, York, was told Mr Scarborough was displaying an amber flashing warning light on the tractor roof.
He had not laid out any warning signs on the road behind him but did not have any signs with him and was unaware of good practice recommendations to display them.
York Coroner Donald Coverdale said the tractor would have been “largely invisible” around the “blind bend” but there was no legal requirement to put out signs.
“With the benefit of hindsight one could say it was desirable on this occasion to place warning signs,” Mr Coverdale said.
“But with a one-man operator like Mr Scarborough it would not be straight-forward to put signs along the road.
“There was no offence committed by Mr Scarborough in the manner he carried out his work.”
Rather than conclude Miss Andrew was the victim of an accident he recorded under the 2013 Coroners’ Rules that she “died in a road traffic collision”.
He said: “What happened has been a tragic accident.”