Wisbech woman died on way to Queen Elizabeth Hospital after hearing of friend’s death, inquest told

A WOMAN who was on her way to hospital after hearing of the death of a close friend died when her car hit a tree, an inquest heard.

Vera Wiser-Loots, 74, of Arles Avenue, Wisbech, died from spinal injuries after her Suzuki Splash left the road and crashed on the A47 at Walsoken at about 2am on November 8 last year.

An inquest into her death, held in Norwich on Tuesday, heard how she had been on her way to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after she had been told her close friend Saskia Wykes, who had been ill for sometime, had died.

It was heard that she had been suffering from a painful back and had been taking sleep medication zopiclone for sometime - but it was unclear whether she had taken any that night.

Evidence from collision investigator Pc Paul Cant suggested that Mrs Viser-Loots had not attempted to apply the brakes or swerve to avoid the tree and that she may have fallen asleep or passed out at the wheel.


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Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said: “It’s immensely sad and really moving to reflect that she was on her way to see her friend who had died.

“My deepest sympathies go to her husband Raymond and the rest of the family. She was quite a remarkable person; a big hearted, popular person who lived life to the full.”

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Mr Armstrong recorded a verdict of death as a result of a road traffic collision.

Vera was well known around the area as a former school teacher, talented dancer and former active member of Wisbech Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society.

She had enjoyed a dance lesson on the day before she died and had been looking forward to her son Paul Boekee’s wedding this year.

Following Vera’s death daughter Anita Boekee described her as “almost too kind, she was always about giving to other people”.

Anita said: “People had tried to persuade her not to go (to the hospital). Raymond offered to drive her to hospital but she insisted on going alone.

“Her friend Saskia Wykes had just died after a long illness; they had been friends for about 50 years.”

Vera lived in Arles Avenue with Raymond, who she married in 1990. She also had five grandchildren.

She taught French at St Audrey’s Convent School in Wisbech from 1964 until it closed in the early 1980s. She also taught at the Queen’s School and at Spalding Grammar School.

In the 1960s and 70s, Vera appeared in Wisbech Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society shows including South Pacific, Kiss Me Kate and Oklahoma.

Anita said: “She loved to dance; she absolutely adored dancing and was taking lessons right up until the day before she died. Dancing really was her passion.

“She wanted to be a ballerina when she was young, but she was too tall.”

Vera’s dance teacher, Suzanne Mayer said: “She was very artistic and helpful and enhanced our classes. She showed immense loyalty to Saskia and will be greatly missed by all her dancing friends.”

Vera also loved to make greetings cards and was an active member of local craft groups who met together for card making.

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