Mystery surrounds crash which killed great-grandmother

Joyce Frigot

Joyce Frigot

by Ed Stilliard , Senior Reporter Updated on in News

Mystery still surrounds why a motorist veered into the path of an oncoming car in a Hampshire road killing a great-grandmother.

Despite a six-month investigation into Joyce Frigot's death a Hampshire coroner was unable to ascertain how Nigel Bath-Smith lost control of his car in the heart of the New Forest.

The 61 -year old great-grandmother from Christchurch was travelling towards Southampton on the A35 when Bath-Smith's Vauxhall Insignia crossed into her lane and ploughed into her red Vauxhall Astra killing her instantly.

Mrs Frigot was driving the car with her daughter as a passenger when the crash occurred last June.

Southampton Coroners Court heard that there was no reason why Bath-Smith - who pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at Southampton magistrates courts last year - had lost control.

Sergeant Andrew Lynch of Eastleigh police station interviewed Bath-Smith from Thornbury Avenue, Blackfied in Southampton, after the incident.

"He didn't remember the accident at all. He said he wasn't distracted in the car."

Sgt Lynch added that examination of Bath-Smith's mobile phone showed he was not using it at the time or prior to the crash.

PC Andrew McDonald said there were no other reasons why Bath-Smith lost control.

"There's effectively no explanation as to how he lost control," said coroner Keith Wiseman.

"Although this was very clearly an accidental death someone in this case was clearly at fault," he added.

He recorded a narrative verdict adding that it "would be more reflective than just a simple verdict of "accidental death".

"Joyce Frigot died when the car she was driving was struck by a car on the wrong side of a single carriageway road upon which she driving entirely appropriately," he said.

Speaking afterward, her family thanked all those who tried to help at the scene but repeated their frustration about Bart-Smith's sentence.

The 53-year-old received a three-year ban, a two-month curfew a community order and a fine.

Joyce's husband Dennis said: "He goes home to a wife, I go home to an empty bed."

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1:05pm Thu 31 Jan 13 Redfield says…

Didn't know the A34 ran through the heart of the new Forest! The A31 does though

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1:31pm Thu 31 Jan 13 Ozmosis says…

A curfew? Seriously? For a 53 year old? I'd like to know the thinking behind that

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1:39pm Thu 31 Jan 13 AD1234 says…

Get some better journos, Echo. It was the A35.

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2:34pm Thu 31 Jan 13 minnie64 says…

AD1234 wrote…

Get some better journos, Echo. It was the A35.

And if you notice this was written by the senior reporter !!!!!!

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6:19pm Thu 31 Jan 13 cjsandom says…

Not sure what the above comments are about as I am looking at an article which actually says A35 therefore reporter has got it right.

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7:17pm Thu 31 Jan 13 dolomiteman says…

cjsandom wrote…

Not sure what the above comments are about as I am looking at an article which actually says A35 therefore reporter has got it right.

Thats because the Echo editted the story atfer the commnets were made. The Echo let their readers spot the many mistakes and then correct them it is cheaper than employing real jorno's who can use spell check or proof read an article. Meanwhile there is a story about a death inquiry............. .....

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