Sulgrave mum died after sending a text while driving

Claire Purves - killed car crash on B4525, Sept 26, 11
Claire Purves - killed car crash on B4525, Sept 26, 11

A MOTHER-of two died after her car veered across a road near Brackley following a text message conversation while she was driving.

Claire Purves, aged 34, crashed while driving along Welsh Lane near to Greatworth on the evening of September 26 last year, with her young son a passenger, when her Ford Focus hit a Jaguar car coming the other way.

The boy escaped from the car, which quickly burst into flames. An inquest heard on Wednesday that it was highly likely that Mrs Purves, from Sulgrave, died as a result of the impact and would not have suffered from the fire.

The hearing heard a statement from Ian Evenden, a former ambulance cadet, who tried to rescue Mrs Purves by bending open a car door, after coming across the scene as he was driving past.

He said: “Parts of the burnt material kept dropping onto her clothing, which I had to keep brushing off. I tried to get her out but she was trapped, I don’t know how.

“The fumes and the heat were getting too much and I could do nothing more.”

Mrs Purves’ car had veered onto the opposite side of the road as it rounded a bend and neither driver had time to brake before their vehicles struck each other.

The passenger of the Jaguar broke her sternum and foot, and the driver, her husband, who the Northants Coroner Anne Pember, said was blameless, broke a leg, knee cap and some toes.

Gary Whaley, a police case builder, said Mrs Purves’ son corroborated indications from by phone records that she was sending a text just before the accident.

Mrs Pember, recording a verdict of accidental death, said: “It also seems she could have been using her mobile phone. What a shame if she was, because so many people who loved her have been affected.”