Environmentalist Madeleine Parnwell died because she was unable to escape from her submerged car, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 11:57 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:57 01 February 2018

Madeleine Parnwell

Madeleine Parnwell

Archant

A driver was trapped in her car when the vehicle left the road and ran into a waterway, an inquest has heard.

Madeleine Parnwell, 68, from Warboys, was unable to escape from the submerged Volvo car wheen the accident happened on December 13.

Senior coroner David Heming said he was still waiting for the results of a post mortem examination on Mrs Parnwell and he adjourned the hearing until a date in June.

The incident happened at a waterway off Puddock Road, near Warboys, on the evening of December 13.

Mr Heming said: “The vehicle had left the road and entered Crease Drain where it sadly became fully-submerged and Mrs Parnwell was unable to escape the vehicle.”

He said police attended the scene of the accident and Mrs Parnwell’s husband Steve identified her body.

“I would like to express my condolences to Mr Parnwell for his tragic loss,” Mr Heming said.

He adjourned the inquest until June 6.

The Hunts Post told how Mrs Parnwell’s family had launched a £15,000 crowdfunding campaign to create a nature reserve as a living memorial to her.

Mrs Parnwell was a keen environmentalist and the 1.3 acre reserve close to her home on the outskirts of Warboys - to be known as Madeleine’s Patch - will become a community and learning resource.

She and her husband Steve, a retired senior Cambridgeshire police officer, had been married for more than 40 years.

Madeleine was director of administration at Greenwillows Associates, an ecological business set up by Mr Parnwell when he retired from the police in 2001 and their daughters Claire, Emma and Mary also work there.

Mrs Parnwell was on her way home when the accident happened.

When she did not return her husband and family members went out looking for her and Mr Parnwell arrived at the scene shortly after the vehicle was discovered.

Mr Parnwell told the Hunts Post the idea for a nature reserve as a living memorial to Madeleine came up because they were determined that some good would come out of a “total disaster”.

Donations can be made to: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/madeleines-patch

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