Kavanagh, Marjorie

Kavanagh, Marjorie       1918 November 1st           Enford

Fatal Accident to a Child

Pneumonia Follows Collision with a Car

The Deputy Coroner for the City, Mr F H Trethowan, held an inquest at the Infirmary on Tuesday evening relative to the death of a child named Marjorie Bridget Kavanagh, who died as a result of injuries sustained in a street accident.

Mr W H Jackson represented the parents.

James Kavanagh, of Enford, said the girl was his daughter and was six years of age. On October 18th, at half past one, he was having dinner when a child told him something, and he went to the school. He saw his daughter lying on a mattress, and he was told she had been knocked down as a result of an accident. A military doctor came subsequently, and on his suggestion she was conveyed to Salisbury Infirmary. He came to see her several times, and on Monday he heard she was worse, and she died the same day.

In reply to Mr Jackson, he said the child was not suffering from any ailment previous to the accident.

Daisy Harriett Wells, a motor driver in the Women’s Royal Air Force, said that on Friday, October 18th, she was driving through Enford towards Netheravon. As she approached the school she was driving about four miles an hour, and she had her side brake on, as she was going down hill. There were several children in the road. The school was on the left of the thoroughfare and the playground was on the right, and upon seeing the children she sounded her hooter, and the children went to the side of the road. There was a concealed turning at the side of the road, and when she got opposite a child rushed out. The wheels of the car did not touch the child, and she pulled up immediately.

Marjorie Belch Stone, a driver in the Women’s Royal Air Force, said she was riding with the last witness, who was driving not much faster than a walking pace. When they reached the pathway a little child came running out in front of the car. The driver applied the brakes and stopped the car by puling in to the left side of the road. She picked up the child and took it into the school, while her companion went for the medical officer.

The Coroner : Do you think the driver could have avoided the girl by pulling up more quickly?


Witness : No, it was too sudden.

Dr Patterson, of Salisbury Infirmary, said that the child was suffering from minor abrasions and cuts about her legs and forehead. He did not notice any marks that led him to think that a wheel had passed over her.

The doctor, in reply to a question, said he did not think the vehicle had passed over the child’s leg. When she was admitted she showed signs of bronchitis, which gradually developed into pneumonia. It was impossible to say if pneumonia was directly due to the accident. Her vitality must have been weakened by the accident, or she might have been sickening for pneumonia previously.

The Foreman : The accident by itself was not sufficient to cause death? No.

After the Coroner had addressed the jury, the Foreman said that they found that death was due to pneumonia, which was consequent upon the accident, but they attached no blame to the driver.


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