Coroner rules pedestrian fire engine death accidental

A coroner’s inquest has ruled that the death of a woman hit by a fire engine on Cowley Road last year could not have been avoided.

The inquest was held into the death of 79-year old Oxford resident Sultana Begum, who died in the John Radcliffe Hospital in May last year after being hit by the fire engine on a call.

According to the BBC, the driver of the engine, Gavin Carter, said that he applied the brakes when he saw Mrs Begum step out, and told the court that: “I did everything in my power to avoid the collision.”

Witnesses also said that Mrs Begum had stepped off a traffic island into the path of the fire engine.

The inquest took place on 12th  February, and was conducted by the coroner, Mr D.M. Salter, at the County Hall in New Road.

A statement by Nathan Travis, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said that: “Mrs Begum’s death was a tragic accident and I, on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, would like to express my deepest sympathy to her family at this difficult time.

“The coroner has confirmed that it was an accident.”

He also added that “What happened was a traumatic experience for the firefighters involved and they have received appropriate support from the Fire and Rescue Service in the time since the accident.”

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Services were unavailable for further comment.

IMAGE/Ron Adams