Foster carer died after being hit by car yards from Wolverhampton home

A “loving” foster carer was fatally injured just yards from her home as she returned from cancer treatment in hospital, an inquest has heard.

Dorothy Nightingale was aged 86 when she died
Dorothy Nightingale was aged 86 when she died

Dorothy Nightingale was crossing Wolverhampton’s Underhill Lane when she was struck by a Toyota Yaris and was left with “significant” injuries.

The 86-year-old had just got off a bus and was on her way home from hospital.

Her daughter Diane Urquhart told Black Country Coroner’s Court she hoped driver Gwendoline Palmer would “find some peace” before the pair embraced in the courtroom.

Mrs Urquhart said: “My mother had always been a very caring lady. She took in numerous kids over the years.

"She loved everybody and everybody loved her. She was cheerful and bubbly, and she never had a bad word to say about anybody.

"If she could do something for you, she would, even if she had to bend over backwards to do it.”

Finance manager Mrs Palmer told the court she was on her way home from her Wednesfield workplace on December 4.

She recalled “cautiously” driving along the street at about 25mph in the 30mph zone before the collision at about 5.30pm.

Widow Mrs Nightingale was then rushed to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital but there was nothing medics could do and her life support was later switched off.

Mrs Palmer, who tested negative for alcohol and drugs, said on Monday: “It was a December night. It was dark and damp. It was just a normal commute from the office.

“She was just there. I hit the brakes, pulled over and got out. My heart is with the family.”

Forensic collision investigator Pc Jason Stacey told the inquest residents had raised concerns about newly-installed LED street lighting but Wolverhampton Council confirmed it met required standards.

He went on to say he believed Mrs Palmer was driving at a "slow speed" and said it was "unfortunate" the elderly victim failed to use a nearby pedestrian crossing.

Colleague Pc Dean Meese said it would have been "very difficult" for the driver to have seen Wolverhampton-born Mrs Nightingale, who was wearing dark clothing and was a "slow walker".

He added: "There probably wasn't enough time for a driver to respond."

Black Country coroner Mr Zafar Siddique recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision.

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