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Cambridge pensioner could have been taken ill at the wheel


By Adrian Curtis


Man dies from suspected heart attack in city park
Man dies from suspected heart attack in city park

Coroner says medical episode theory remains unanswered

A Cambridge pensioner who drove his car into the path of fast-moving traffic on a dual carriageway may have been taken ill at the wheel, an inquest heard.

Charles McCulloch, 88, of Seymour Street, suffered multiple injuries when his VW Golf was struck by another car on the northbound A11 at Worlington on July 22 last year.

On Monday, the inquest at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich heard that Mr McCulloch was well known in the Cambridge area for having been a football referee.

He was just three car lengths away from a vehicle travelling at more than 60mph when he pulled out of Newmarket Road.

Driver Trudi Nobes said in a statement that she had been travelling with her daughter as a front seat passenger and attempted to avoid Mr McCulloch’s car but was unable to avoid colliding with the side of it.

Passing motorists and an off-duty paramedic tried to help Mr McCulloch, also known as ‘Big Charles’, who had suffered major injuries.

But despite efforts to revive him, Mr McCulloch died at the scene.

A post mortem examination later confirmed that the death had been due to multiple head, chest and abdominal injuries.

Mr McCulloch had also suffered a heart attack, but the inquest was told that it had not been possible to establish if it was before or after the impact.

Police accident investigator Pc Andy Fossey said witnesses had described how they saw Mr McCulloch’s car begin to slowly cross both lanes of the dual carriageway immediately before the accident.

PC Fossey said in his statement: “This sad event will be etched in the memories of those involved.”

Road conditions were dry, and nothing could be found on the road surface, which might have contributed to the accident and no faults could be found with Mr McCulloch’s car.

Mr McCulloch’s nephew, William Cook, said in a statement that his uncle originally came from Scotland before moving from Elgin to Cambridge.

For many years his uncle had been a well-known and respected football referee in many leagues.

Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley said whether Mr McCulloch had suffered a medical episode just before the crash or an error of judgment remained unanswered questions.

Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion that Mr McCulloch died as a result of a road traffic accident.

Mr McCulloch was an avid follower of football and he refereed in several leagues until the age of 73.



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