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Woman 'drove into flooded ford'

A woman has told an inquest that she drove into a heavily-flooded ford while following the directions of a satnav leading to her husband drowning as their car became flooded with water.

Jonathan Gammon, 52, from Kingston Lane, Teddington, south west London, was trapped in the Toyota Yaris as it attempted to cross the swollen ford at Thornford Road, Headley, Hampshire, on April 30.

His widow, Priscilla Turner, told the Alton inquest that she had been driving her husband and their dog Gabby, who also died, to his workplace when the incident happened.

Mr Gammon worked as a mental health tribunal judge and the couple were travelling to the Thornford Park Hospital, a secure hospital for men detained under the mental health act.

Mrs Turner said that they had not driven to the hospital before and they had set the satnav before leaving their home that morning.

She said that she drove because her husband was a better navigator and he had consulted maps during the journey.

The inquest heard how the car became submerged after entering the ford trapping Mr Gammon inside although his wife was able to escape the vehicle.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, North Hampshire Coroner Andrew Bradley said to Mrs Turner: "What you drove into was quite extraordinary, it's incredibly deceptive. It's an appalling set of circumstances, an appalling situation."

He added that he had personally reviewed the warning signs in place at the ford and said that they appeared adequate.

He said that he would not be making any recommendations as the use of the ford was under review by Hampshire County Council.


From Belfast Telegraph