Distressing Affair at Doncaster – Lady Fatally Injured – Danger of Unlighted Waggons.

September 1909

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Saturday 25 September 1909

Distressing Affair at Doncaster.
Lady Fatally Injured.
Danger of Unlighted Waggons.

The deepest sympathy was felt in Doncaster yesterday for Mr. Frank Allen, solicitor and deputy Coroner for the Doncaster district, on the death of his wife under sad circumstances.

The deceased lady was the only daughter of Mr. G. T. Nicholson, of Rock House, Conisborough, and Mr. and Mrs. Allen were married only a year ago.

They were returning from Conisborough on Wednesday night in Mr. Allen’s car, when an accident occurred. Mr. Allen was driving, and with him was Mr. Morton Nicholson, his brother-in-law. Mrs. Allen being the seat behind her husband. When coming into Warmsworth they met a horse and dray. Air. Allen drew to one side, but some projection, it is supposed, at the rear of the cart, caught Mrs. Allen, who was found lying at the bottom of the car in a state of collapse. It was subsequently found that she was suffering from a ruptured liver. The driver of the cart has not been found, and the full details of the accident are not known. The deceased lady was 29 years of age.

The Inquest.

The Coroner, (Mr. R A. H. Tovey) held an inquiry at the Guild Hall last night. It was stated the Coroner, who explained the circumstances of the accident, that the dray had no lights on it. It was in the middle of the road, and had practically passed the car, but something which was projecting from behind caught the back part of the motor-car, close to where Mrs. Allen was sitting. It only just grazed the car and broke off a piece of woodwork. Apparently, something caught Mrs Allen, who possibly had her hand resting on the side the car, as her thumb was bruised, and this was the only external mark found upon her.

Immediately after the impact, Mr. Allen stopped his car and got out, with the object of remonstrating with the driver of the cart for driving without a light, and whilst speaking to the man, his attention was attracted to Mrs. Allen, who was found at the bottom the oar, suffering from intense pain in her body. Mr. Allen at once got into the car, without obtaining the name the driver, and drove off to Doncaster. He called for Dr. Battersby on the way, and took him home with him.

Mrs. Allen, who was still suffering great pain was put to bed. Dr. Battersby called in Dr. Wilson for consultation, and on Thursday specialist from Leeds, Dr. Moylihan, was sent for, and performed an operation in the afternoon, but Mrs. Allen gradually sank, and died at four o’clock that (Friday} morning.

Bereaved Husband’s Evidence.

Mr. Frank Allen, who bore out the statement of the Coroner, said deceased was 29 years of age. They went to Conisborough to fetch his brother-in law, who was going to Edinburgh. There were an acetylene headlight and two side lights on the car, which was travelling at about 16 to 18 miles an hour. When passing the Toll Bar witness slowed up, and on getting round the corner of the road saw a one-horse dray. He pulled on one side miss it, and got clear of the horse and dray, but was astonished to hear when they had practically got past it that something had caught the back of the car. He had not the slightest idea that anything had happened to his wife, and began to remonstrate with the man when his brother-in-law called cut “Don’t stop talking to him, come to Elsie.” He found her in a state collapse in the bottom the car. The dray would not more than 10 yards away when he pulled up. The man did not complain of anything having happened him, and his impression was that there was a ladder or something strapped at the back of the cart.

Dr. Batters said that deceased complained of great pain about the waist and of shortness of breath. Everything was done to remove the pain, and next morning, as she was worse, a consultation was held. Dr. Moylihan, of Leeds, was sent for, and Thursday afternoon he performed an operation. They found very extensive laceration of the liver, which was almost divided into two parts, and there was great amount of haemorrhage. The operation was successful and she was conscious afterwards; end recovered from the anaesthetic, but there was a great deal of haemorrhage, and she gradually got weaker and died at four o’clock that morning. She was unable to give any account of the accident. If she had fallen against the luck of seat it might have caused the injury. She was wearing a leather motor coat, and that might prevent any discolouration the skin.

The immediate cause of death was haemorrhage due to rupture of the liver.

In reply the Foreman, witness said did not think a sudden twist would cause the rupture.

Sergeant Westmacott said he had made inquiries and had been unable to trace the man with the dray.

Jury’s Sympathy.

The jury returned verdict of Accidental death.” and the foreman (Mr. Bassett) said they wished to convey their sympathy to Mr. Allen.

The Coroner added that he desired to associate himself with that expression of sympathy.