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Double amputee killed by rolling car in hospital car park after woman left handbrake off

A wheelchair-bound double amputee was knocked down and killed by runaway car in a hospital car park after the woman driver parked but left the handbrake off, an inquest has heard.

Pensioner Frederick Morton had arrived at the hospital and asked for directions to the wheelchair accessibility unit when he was struck down by the out-of-control silver Vauxhall Zafira which had rolled out of its parking bay and rumbled towards him.

Despite the efforts of paramedics and doctors from an air ambulance, Mr Morton - who previously had had both legs amputated - was declared dead at the scene.

Witnesses told the coroner how they had seen Mr Morton wheeling himself across the car park before spotting the rolling Zafira heading towards him.

In a statement read by the Berkshire coroner, nursing auxiliary Virginia Stalley described how she saw the 79-year-old try to get out of the way of the oncoming car after he noticed it rolling towards him, but it was too late.

Staff and patients at St Marks Hospital in Maidenhead, Berks., rushed to the aid of Mr Morton and two men held the car in place until police and paramedics arrived.

Sergeant Dean Franklin tried to open the car but after discovering it was locked used his baton to smash the window and pull on the handbrake, which he said had not been applied when he reached into the car.

"I saw there was a white elderly gentleman trapped underneath the vehicle," he said in a written statement to the inquest in Reading.

The air ambulance was scrambled but doctors could not save Mr Morton, who lived at Ploughlands in Bracknell, and he died from multiple injuries, including fractures to all his ribs and chest.

Lane closure on Reading Bridge extended by a week

One lane closure on Reading Bridge as part of the on-going strengthening project will continue for an additional week.

The 24 hour a day, 7 day a week lane closure to one side of Reading Bridge began has been in place since early April for carbon fibre strengthening work. This phase of work was due for completion on Sunday April 26th, however the removal of additional concrete under the surface of the bridge has delayed work. It means the lane closure will now continue until Sunday May 3rd instead.

As with all previous lane closures, there will still be a lane running in each direction over the bridge, and one of the pavements will remain fully accessible to pedestrians. The extended lane closure will be advertised on the Council’s variable message signs across the town.

Reading Bridge is a major strategic route for Reading and the wider region. The structure is in need of essential strengthening and waterproofing to ensure it can continue to carry the amount of traffic it does in future years.


  1. Sarah Gomme

Resolute Royals made Arsenal look like underdogs

Reading boss Steve Clarke told us his side were going to have to play the perfect game here today and for much of the game they did just that - more organised and more resolute throughout.

Reading's Jamie Mackie controls the ball in the air despite the challenge of Laurent Koscielny Credit: PA

They looked like a side determined to put themselves in the history books. Only a stroke of Sanchez class gave Arsenal the edge before the break and when Garath McCleary equalised the Royals looked to be on the brink of a famous giant killing.

Any part Federici played in Arsenal's eventual winner was instantly forgiven by fans and teammates alike. He is so often the difference for a Reading side that today made Arsenal look like the underdogs.

Sir John Madejski 'immensely proud' of Royals

Sir John Madejski has spoken of his pride, as Reading more than matched their Premier League opponent Arsenal.

The Reading Chairman was quick to leave the stands and address the team in the dressing room where he described the mood as sombre.

Sir John speaking after the match Credit: ITV Meridian

I am immensely proud of the manager and every one of those players.

I am also incredibly proud of our fans. Each and every one of them played their part here today. This has been the most wonderful day for everyone in the Thames Valley.

– Sir John Madejski

Great atmosphere in stadium with minutes to kick off


In pictures: Wembley ready for historic FA Cup match

Arsenal and Reading pin badges on sale before match Credit: PA
Young fan on the way to the ground Credit: Vikki Bray
Arsenal and Reading scarves on sale Credit: PA
A young Reading fan arrives at Wembley stadium for the game Credit: PA
A Reading fan with a half and half scarf as he makes his way to the stadium for the match Credit: PA

Wembley awaits arrival of The Royals

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