Mexborough and Swinton Times April 5, 1929
Two Road Deaths
Conisboro’ Smash Victims.
A Collapsed Wheel ?
The inquest on the two victims of the Conisborough motor smash was held at Fullerton Hospital, Denaby, on Tuesday, by. Mr. W. H. Carlile, with a jury, and a verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
The accident occurred on Sunday evening at about six o’clock, when a car driven by Mr. George Henry Chattel 48, engine winder at Denaby Colliery, suddenly swerved into a tram standard broadside on. He was killed and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Blanche Muggeridge, of White Lee-road, Swinton, died from her injuries in the Fullerton Hospital on Tuesday. The other occupants of the car, Chattel’s wife and eleven-year-old daughter, Winifred, were injured. A theory that a wheel collapsed and caused the swerve was advanced.
Ernest Frederick Muggeridge, 152, White Lee-road, Swinton, an electric welder, gave evidence of identification of his wife and brother. His wife was unconscious and died without being able to tell anything of the accident.
Mrs. Elizabeth Chattel said they left home in the car about 1-30 p.m. on Sunday. They went round ‘ the Dukeries and returning, reached Conisborough just before 6 p.m. Her husband was driving and she remembered going along Low-road, Conisborough. She never knew she had been in an accident as she was unconscious.
In reply to a question by the Coroner as to the speed of the car, she said she did not note it, but her husband was always a most careful driver and she could not imagine how the accident occurred. She heard no crash, and recovered consciousness at her home. She was badly bruised.
Richard James Lawrence, colliery labourer, said he was standing at the front gate of his house in Low-road about 6 o’clock on Sunday evening. He saw the car coming down the road and the accident occurred just below. The car was travelling between 15 and 20 m.p.h. Witness heard two sharp reports close together, which sounded like a tyre bursting. “The first thing. I knew was that the car swerved right across the road from the left and struck a tram standard broadside on.” No one was thrown out, and Chattel was lying over the wheel. It looked as though his head had struck the standard. He was unconscious, as was his wife, who sat by him. There was no other traffic at the time.
In reply to a juryman witness said there i were two distinct reports.
Joseph Morton, glasshand, 10, Calder-terrace, Conisborough, said the car was approaching as he walked in Low-road. He heard two bangs and saw the car swerve across the road into the standard. The reports sounded like a tyre bursting.
Dr. Dickson said he was called to the scene and arrived about 6-10 p.m. Chattel had been removed from the car when he arrived, and was dying of a fractured base of the skull. He died shortly, after witness’s arrival, in a shed in , Low-road, to which he was removed. Mrs. Muggeridge also had a fractured `skull, ‘which might have been caused by her hitting the standard, as she sat behind Chattel on the same side. She was removed unconscious to Fullerton Hospital and did not regain consciousness. Neither had any chance of recovery.
P.N. Sparrow said he arrived on the scene of the accident at 7-25 p.m., when both deceased had been removed. He found the two offside wheels of the car buckled and there was a big dent, on the off side of the car where it had hit the train standard. The steering gear was intact. On the side where the driver sat and on one of the wooden supports of the hood there was blood. In his opinion both struck their heads against the standard, or Mrs. Muggerige hit the hood support. He later examined the car at a garage and found the offside rear tyre intact but the inner tube punctured in three places by spokes coming through the rim. It was his opinion that the wheel had been weakened by a skid in the recent frost and the wheel rim might have collapsed and the spokes pierced the tube.
The Coroner said Chattel may have suddenly applied his brakes and swerved when he found he had punctured, thus causing the engine to back-fire, which would account for the reports heard by Lawrence and Morton. It was a very unfortunate accident, I and he offered his sympathy to the bereaved.
The foreman of the jury also expressed sympathy, a
Winifred Chattel, who was also removed a to the Fullerton Hospital with serious head injuries, was yesterday reported to improving slightly.