'Fluke' Accident Which Killed Hanwell Woman

Inquest continues into death in Kew Gardens


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An inquest into the death of a Hanwell woman killed by a falling branch in Kew Gardens has heard that it was a "fluke" that only one person was killed.

Erena Wilson, 31, originally from New Zealand but living in W7, suffered fatal head injuries when she was hit by the Lebanese cedar branch in September 2012.

An earlier hearing was told ambulance crews were unable to save Miss Wilson, who died instantly.

John McLinden, QC for Miss Wilson's family, told West London Coroner's Court it had been a "fluke [that] other people did not suffer very serious injury".

Kew has previously issued warnings and cordoned off areas liable to suffer from falling branches, but Mr McLinden said "these steps seem to have fallen away, for reasons that the family do not know"

He said the inquest needed to consider "whether summer branch drop caused the branch to fall, whether the tree had been pruned and whether there was a policy in place at Kew at the time to deal with that".

Assistant coroner Elizabeth Pygott said she could not go ahead with the full inquest as she had received a large amount of new evidence in recent days.

A date for the full inquest has yet to be fixed.

Speaking after the hearing was adjourned, Miss Wilson's uncle, Pieter van Vliet, said his niece had been a regular visitor to Kew.

He said the family would be "forever grateful" for the support given to them by the visitor attraction over the past year, including hosting a memorial event.

Kew Gardens attracts more than one million visitors each year.


2nd October 2013


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