Bletchley Park veteran died after crash on A43 near Towcester

Former Bletchley Park teletypist Margaret Holton died three weeks after a car' collision.
Former Bletchley Park teletypist Margaret Holton died three weeks after a car' collision.

A driver could not have avoided the collision which led to the death of an 89-year-old Bletchley Park veteran, a coroner said yesterday.

Margaret Holton, of New Road, Greens Norton, died in hospital three-and-a-half weeks after a “colossal”accident at the Tiffield turn of the A43 turn near Towcester on September 19 last year.

The mother-of-two, described as a confident driver by her son, despite her advanced years, did not see Mark Marsh’s oncoming Jaguar as she turned right out of the Tiffield junction, coroner Anne Pember said at an inquest at County Hall on Wednesday.

Summarising the evidence she said: “I feel there was absolutely nothing Mr Marsh could have done to avoid this collision. I would conclude that the death of Mrs Holton was accidental.”

Mrs Holton was a member of the WRAF during the Second World War, but spent the later years of the conflict working on the Enigma codebreaking operation as a teletypist at Bletchley Park.

On the day of the accident she had been to take her border terrier Jamie to Brickyard Farm Kennels in Tiffield.

The keen traveller, who had been to Australia and the Himalayas , was about to go on holiday to Bournemouth.

But giving evidence to the court, kennel owner Robert Gibbins said that Mrs Holton, struggled to part with her pet.

She told Mr Gibbins that she could not leave him and decided to take the dog with her instead. Little more than a minute later he heard a loud bang. “I ran as fast as I could,” he said. “I saw a small dark car in the middle of the carriageway with the engine missing.

“I went to the car and looked in – it was Mrs Holton and she was in a very bad way.”

The engine of Mrs Holton’s Volkswagen Polo was found 
11 metres away from the 
rest of the car, according to police, who attended the scene shortly 5pm.

Mark Marsh, 43, of Wootton, was driving the Jaguar that struck her. He told the court he was in the middle of an overtaking manoeuvre when Mrs Holton pulled out. He said: “I broke hard and reacted by steering to the right, my thought was to try to get in front of her. There was nothing I could have done.”

Mrs Holton, a widow, since 2009, died at University Hospital Coventry on October 13 as a result of her injuries.