Annie Hall death: Flood victim's husband 'saw no road warning signs'

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image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionAnnie Hall served as Derbyshire's High Sheriff in 2017

The husband of a woman who died after being swept away following heavy rain has told a coroner he saw no road signs warning of flooding.

Annie Hall, 69, died after her car became stranded in flood water in Derbyshire on 8 November 2019.

An inquest heard her husband Michael, who was also in the car, did not see any "road closed" signs before they encountered water.

He added when they realised they were in water, it was "too late".

A pre-inquest review at Chesterfield Coroner's Court heard the couple had been driving home to Ashford-in-the-Water when they were diverted after the A6 had been hit by flooding.

A previous hearing was told the couple got out of the car after they drove into flood water, but Mrs Hall was swept away as the water gained speed in Darley Dale near Matlock.

'No notice'

Mr Hall said there were no "road closed" signs he could see before they hit water.

He told the court in a documented list of the "road closed" signs set up - which he had seen since - two streets leading to the scene did not have any signage.

One of those was Church Road, Mr Hall said, where the couple had travelled just before they came across flood water.

He said: "I said to my wife, 'Slow down the water is going to be over the bonnet', and at that point it was too late.

"We were in the flow of water and we had no notice before we got there that that was going to happen."

Mr Hall added: "I'm not here to look for a guilty party, I'm here to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"That wasn't the first time it had happened. It happened in 2011, according to the farmer whose field we were in."

Coroner Peter Nieto said the inquest would look into the area and its vulnerability to flooding, as well as what happened the night before and the morning of Mrs Hall's death.

He added he would like to know the timescale of the response to the incident, once the authorities had been alerted.

media captionDrone footage filmed from Matlock shows the extent of the flood water

Legal representatives of Severn Trent Water, Derbyshire Police, Derbyshire Dales District Council, and Derbyshire County Council were in attendance.

Mr Nieto said he will also seek input from the Environment Agency and Derbyshire Fire and Service Rescue.

A full inquest date has not yet been set.

A pathologist previously listed Mrs Hall's cause of death as drowning.

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