Husband died in bus crash tragedy

The scene in Cleveleys
The scene in Cleveleys
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A WOMAN suffering from cancer has described her devastation after a horror crash caused the death of her husband.

Majorie Smart’s silver Citroen Xsara pulled out of the west bound junction on Anchorsholme Lane East into the path of a bus on November 26 last year, resulting in Leslie Smart, 87, suffering massive internal injuries.

Mr Smart, from Brookfield Road, Thornton, had to be cut from the car by firefighters after the Number 7 – travelling between Lytham and Cleveleys – collided with the passenger side of the vehicle.

The pensioner never recovered from his injuries and died three days later in Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

An inquest into his death heard Mrs Smart – who was excused from attending the hearing as she is undergoing extensive cancer treatment – was temporarily blinded by the low winter sun and failed to see the approaching bus when she pulled out.

A statement, read out on the 85-year-old’s behalf, said she had “suffered greatly” since the crash and the death of her husband.

It read: “Mrs Smart looked to the left and saw the road was clear and looked to the right, saw one car was coming, and waited.

“She was blinded by the low sun and then as she pulled out the bus was there.

“She accepts she was responsible. There was nothing she could have done to avoid the bus, but she agreed she could have waited for the sun to clear from her vision.

“Mrs Smart has suffered greatly as a result of the accident and has had to deal with the loss of her husband.”

The pensioner has handed in her driving licence after the crash, in which nine passengers on the bus were injured and both roads closed for four hours as an investigation was carried out.

Lisa Charlesworth was driving behind Mrs Smart at the time of the incident and administered first aid to Mr Smart after the collision.

She said: “The car was not being driven recklessly or slowly and I think the driver didn’t see the bus.

“The next day I went back to the junction because I couldn’t understand how the driver of the car couldn’t see.

“But when I looked at oncoming traffic I realised it could have been hard to see the bus.”

Investigating officer PC Stephen Burgess, from Lancashire Police, concluded Mrs Smart had been dazzled by the sun which prevented her from realising a bus was coming down North Drive.

Deputy Blackpool coroner Christopher Beverley recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: “We see a lot of tragic deaths at inquests and it must be hugely traumatic to be involved in the collision that has killed your life partner and it’s that moment of error where her husband has died. One has to extend huge sympathies to Mrs Smart and she has said she will never drive again.

“She has now become very ill and I’m sure her last days will be tainted by that day.”