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Winchcombe woman, 87, dies in Cleeve Hill smash

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

Accident scene

Accident scene

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CONCERNS have been raised over the safety of a hilltop road near Cheltenham following a fatal collision in which an elderly woman died.

The 87-year-old, who lived in Winchcombe, was killed when the car she was travelling in careered off the B4632, on Cleeve Hill, smashing through a roadside wall and into a parked car.

An 88-year-old man, believed to be the woman's husband, who was behind the wheel of the grey Vauxhall Astra, was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Residents said there had been several accidents on the road in recent years – with water running off the hill creating a treacherous surface.

Mark Thomas, 62, who lives opposite the crash site, said: "I heard an almighty wallop and came out to see what was going on, but the emergency services were already here.

"A neighbour said the man was conscious and had cuts and bruises, but did not know what had happened."

"The road was soaking wet because of spring water coming down the road so maybe that had something to do with it. I have lived here for three-and-a-half years and there have been six accidents here in that time."

Gordon Raffle, 61, who lives nearby, added: "When we get heavy rain it does tend to seep down onto the road which can cause problems.

"They reduced the speed at the top from 50mph to 40mph a couple of years ago, but a lot of drivers still go too quickly."

The Vauxhall Astra was travelling up the hill towards Winchcombe when the collision took place at around 2.15pm on Sunday.

No other vehicles were involved.

Gloucestershire Highways said it would be inappropriate to comment on the reasons for the crash while police were investigating.

Police appealed for any witnesses to call police on 101, quoting incident number 259 of December 9.

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  • TIMONLINE2010  |  December 12 2012, 11:12AM

    I agree it doesn't look like an Astra! This is a terrible tragedy and the elderely man must be devasted. It looks like something hit the windscreen - was she perhaps not wearing her seatbelt?

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  • safeandnice  |  December 12 2012, 10:59AM

    yes most accidents are put down as driver error, but if you leave it at that, you do nothing to improve road safety. You have to ask whats leading to driver error and have a go at solving it. Did spending money on reducing the speed limit do much at all towards improving safety (were vehicles travelling that fast anyway) or would installing a couple of drains have given greater benefit. That's a general point. For this accident we dont know yet what caused it. Theres a lot of road grit in the photo. When did that appear? Condolences again. No-one will have set out that day wanting this to happen

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  • AndyKblue  |  December 11 2012, 3:27PM

    looks more like a Saab

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  • eyeopener  |  December 11 2012, 2:14PM

    Is that really an Astra in the photograph? It looks more like a BMW?

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  • joner63  |  December 11 2012, 1:02PM

    safeandnice please tell everyone what the problems are,most accidents on our roads are driver error not the roads,its people driving over the speed limits or taken ill will driving or other reasons but very rar;ey is it the road conditions,that road has been there a very long time,a friend of mine was involved in an accident on it,the other driver was over the limit,nothing to do with the road

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  • Takeaway22  |  December 11 2012, 12:16PM

    Alfredo_ - We might have passed on Sunday as I was cycling on the hill and the common on Sunday. there was some standing water by the used car garage too (I know as I got a face full of it!) - cold but not icy though.

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  • Aldertonian  |  December 11 2012, 11:45AM

    Safeandnice - and your solution is?

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  • Alfredo_  |  December 11 2012, 9:32AM

    I cycled down this stretch of the road on Sunday. There was no standing water at any point until the flatter stretch at the bottom of the hill.

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  • safeandnice  |  December 11 2012, 8:53AM

    Another road where the they chose to spend their money on a speed limit rather than fixing the problems that everyone already new about. How many times? Condolences to family and friends of those involved

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