Mystery surrounds cause of tragic 13 bends crash

Mystery surrounds the precise cause of a crash which killed a much-loved village shopkeeper.

Christine Gilman, 60, died in a head-on collision with an oncoming van on the A619 road between Bakewell and Baslow, known locally as the 13 bends, in April 2013.

An inquest heard Mrs Gilman’s car drifted into the path of the van – but the coroner said it will never be known why.

Mrs Gilman, of Mires Lane, Rowland, Bakewell, was travelling to Baslow Health Centre at about 5.30pm on April 16 when the crash happened.

She suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield later that day.

The inquest at Chesterfield coroners’ court heard how an off-duty police officer, Jamie Farrell, made desperate attempts to resuscitate Mrs Gilman.

Investigations found both vehicles – which had no defects – were travelling at or about the speed limit.

PC Andrew Prince, of Derbyshire police’s collision investigation unit, told this morning’s hearing: “We can’t be certain why the crash happened.

“It’s possible that Mrs Gilman was distracted in some way or became ill or slipped into tiredness.”

He added that the van driver “couldn’t have done more” to avoid the collision.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Sophie Cartwright said: “This is an extremely tragic case.

“We will never know what caused Mrs Gilman to drift across the road and collide with the van.”

Mrs Gilman worked at the Casey newsagents in Great Longstone for about 20 years.