Driver still haunted after tragic death

Audrey Rimmer died after she was struck by a Royal Mail delivery van in the car part of Cherry Tree Court, South Shore.

Audrey Rimmer died after she was struck by a Royal Mail delivery van in the car part of Cherry Tree Court, South Shore.

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The Royal Mail delivery driver who hit a woman in the car park of a retirement complex says he is still haunted about the tragic accident.

Stephen Parfitt said the events of September 24, when 77-year-old Audrey Rimmer stepped out behind his reversing Royal Mail delivery van, would continue to affect him.

Speaking after an inquest into Mrs Rimmer’s death, held on Wednesday, Mr Parfitt said: “I just feel so awful.

“I am back at work now, but I don’t want to drive a van ever again.”

The inquest heard Mrs Rimmer was in the car park of Lemon Tree Court, off Squires Gate Lane, South Shore, where she lived, as Mr Parfitt was dropping off a Royal Mail colleague so he could complete his postal round.

As he reversed in the car park, during high wind and rain, he heard a thud at the back of the Ford Transit.

When he got out the vehicle, he saw Mrs Rimmer lying on the ground.

It’s believed she may have been using an umbrella to protect herself from the weather, and might not have seen the slow-moving van coming towards her.

Mr Parfitt said he noticed her head was bleeding when he moved her into the recovery position.

Mrs Rimmer was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where she died of a head injury caused by falling after being struck by the van.

The inquest heard Mrs Rimmer was an otherwise healthy women, with no medical complaints whatsoever.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Blackpool deputy coroner Christopher Beverley said: “We will never know exactly what happened.”

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Audrey enjoyed holidays with her late sister

Audrey Rimmer lived at Lemon Tree Court, on the border of Blackpool and St Annes, for nearly 10 years with her sister Margaret Worthington, who died in May last year.

Mrs Rimmer’s nephew, David Worthington, described the former telephonist as “fit and sprightly”, who could scale two flights of stairs quicker than he could.

She spent 15 years working for an insurance firm in Lytham until her retirement, and enjoyed holidays in the UK and abroad, and trips to the theatre.

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