Grandmother lost control of car after suffering fatal aneurysm

The late Eleanor Pringle pictured with her husband Christopher.

The late Eleanor Pringle pictured with her husband Christopher.

A 72-year-old grandmother from Lisbellaw who was involved in a road crash died in rare and unusual medical circumstances after she suffered a ruptured aneurysm which led to her losing control of the car she was driving.

Eleanor Pringle, from the Crebe on the Derryharney Road, died after her car was involved in a road traffic collision near Lisnaskea.


An inquest into the death of the widow heard how the ruptured berry aneurysm would have caused her to lose consciousness moments before she crashed her car on January 19, last year.
Her daughter Catherine told the court how her mother had been driving her whole life and had been very considerate and careful on the road.

“She had been speaking with a friend that morning and had been out with friends to the cinema  the night before and they were the last people to see her before the accident.

“I first heard she was in an accident at around 3pm when I was called by a friend and drove to the hospital.”

She was married to Christopher Pringle, who died in 2011, and mother to Catherine, Vanessa and Richard.

The coroner John Lecky told the inquest that the retired florist died in unusual medical circumstances which explained how she lost control of the car.

The other driver, 87-year-old Ellen Connolly, did not attend court, however a statement read out to the inquest stated how Mrs Pringle’s car was her side of the road as she approached a bend.

A nurse at the South West Acute Hospital was one of the first people to come across the road accident.


Norma Armstrong explained: “I got in to the front seat passenger door and told her my name and asked for her name. She was conscious but disorientated and was asking where she was.

“She said there was a tightness in her chest and asked for her bra to be taken off because it was too tight.

“I comforted her and noticed her breathing was laboured. The firemen placed an oxygen mask over her face to help her breathe.”

The court heard that her car, a Skoda Octavia, had considerable damage to the side and to the driver’s door.

Thomas Kennedy, who arrived a short time later, said her chin was resting on her chest and he tilted her head to help her breathe. He noticed blood on her hand but there were no significant injuries.

“She could answer some questions about who she was but she was confused and then I placed a blanket around her,” he added.
“She said she could not move her legs, she was slumped over and there was pain in her chest.”

Dr Brian Heron, who carried out the post mortem, said it could not have been prevented.

“She suffered multiple injuries as a result of the crash but also suffered a ruptured berry aneurysm which can cause death or unconsciousness before the crash. The car crash was caused by a natural disease which led to a sequence of events that led to her death.

“It was felt by all the team at the hospital that it was the primary rupture that caused her death.”

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