Sheffield gran, 82, died after being hit by bus

The junction of Handsworth Road and Richmond Park Road. Google Street View
The junction of Handsworth Road and Richmond Park Road. Google Street View
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A Sheffield bus driver who knocked down a grandmother said there was ‘nothing he could do’ to avoid hitting her.

Mary Ashmore, aged 82, stepped out in front of the single-decker bus on Handsworth Road, Handsworth, as it turned right into Richmond Park Road, Sheffield Coroner’s Court heard.

The former accounting clerk, of Handsworth Road, suffered severe head injuries and a fractured pelvis and ribs in the lunchtime collision on Monday, November 10.

She was taken to the city’s Northern General Hospital, in Fir Vale, but died five days later from pneumonia.

Joyce Precious, a bus passenger, told Mrs Ashmore’s inquest: “I sat at the rear of the bus and had a good view as the seats were raised.

“When the bus stopped at traffic lights, I could see an elderly lady at the crossing.

“She did look frail. She was looking up and down as if she wanted to cross.

“I braced myself as I thought the driver would brake. There was a loud bang and I said ‘God, he’s hit her’.

“I could see the lady, so the driver should have.”

However, bus driver Keith Jackson, who was driving the number 30 TM Travel bus which hit Mrs Ashmore, said there was nothing he could have done to avoid the pensioner.

He told the court: “While waiting at the lights, I was looking around and there was nobody there.

“As the light turned green, I started checking the mirrors. There were still no persons and no vehicles to obstruct my progression and I started to move forward.

“As the front of the bus entered the road, I was aware of a person going across the front of the vehicle.”

Mr Jackson, who said he thought he was travelling at about 10mph, said he immediately hit the brakes and brought the bus to a stop.

Dominic Leaderhan, who was driving behind the bus, saw Mrs Ashmore.

He said: “I remember thinking ‘is she really going to cross?’ Then she started running to the central reservation, as she must have seen how close the bus was.”

PC Gerard Barton, a collision investigator for South Yorkshire Police, said there was low sun on the day. He said the frame of the bus windscreen may also have obstructed the driver’s view.

He told the inquest: “Mrs Ashmore was wearing a grey and green coat and similar coloured skirt. The footpath was in shade. I don’t know whether, because of her clothing or the sun and shade, she could have been camouflaged. It is one of a few theories why he may not have seen her.”

Louise Slater, assistant coroner, recorded a verdict of death by road traffic accident.