Inquest opened into death of couple in A31 crash

Dorset Echo: Inquest opened into death of couple in A31 crash Inquest opened into death of couple in A31 crash

AN inquest has been opened into the deaths of the Bothenhampton couple killed in a car crash on the A31.

Patricia and Pepe Irisarri died on Monday, December 9 following a three vehicle crash near Red Post, Winterbourne Zelston at 5.20pm.

Allan Young, a spokesman for the Bournemouth Coroners office, said: “At approximately 5.20pm a three vehicle double fatal collision occurred on the A31 near Red Post, at Winterbournes Zelston. A yellow Seat Ibiza was being driven by Patricia Irisarri and travelling West Bound.

“Early indications suggest that the Seat Ibiza had encroached on to the other side of the carriageway and collided with the right offside of a Volvo HGV, which was travelling east bound.

“After colliding with the Volvo HGV, it then collided head on into a Scania HGV which was also travelling east bound.

“Both occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.

Dorset Police are carrying out further investigations on behalf of HM Coroner, and a provisional date for March 2014 has been announced for the inquest.”

The cause of Mr and Mrs Irisarri's death was given as head injuries at Bournemouth Coroners Court.

There was an outpouring of grief and shock at the news of the popular couple's death.

Very active in the Bridport community the pair, who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year, were known as people “who couldn't do enough for you.”

Father Richard Meyer, priest in charge of Bridport's catholic parish, said: “The parish is in great shock over the sudden death of Pepe and Patricia who were treasured parishioners.

“A wonderful husband and wife partnership, we so enjoyed celebrating at church their recent golden wedding anniversary.

Our love and prayers surround all the family.”

The couple had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in summer 2012 at the Church of St Mary and St Catherine in Bridport with a special mass.

The Irisarri's volunteered at the Chancery House Day Centre off East Street, where they were known for their cheerfulness and kindness.

“Chancery House was deeply shocked to hear about the tragic death of Pepe and Patricia Irisarri on Monday evening in a car accident, “ said manager Barbara Vousden.

“They have been volunteers at Chancery House Day Centre for many years and nothing was too much trouble, our clients held them in great regard.

“They will be terribly missed and we send our deepest sympathy to their relatives and friends.”

Next door neighbours in Wychside Close Ben and Trisha Wilks said they would often see the couple tending their garden, even in the winter.

Mr Wilks said: “They were a lovely couple who were very active in the local community, and were always in the garden. They were always together and they were very family orientated.

Mrs Wilks said: “They will be sorely missed by everyone. They were always joking and always so happy, and both of them were active. Patricia used to do yoga with me, and they used to go on such long walks with each other.

“They were a lovely couple and will be much missed.”

John and Hazel Tunney moved into their home in the close at the same time as Mr and Mrs Irisarri.

Mr Tunney said: “They were well known in and around the town and were extremely well liked by everyone who knew them. They were very active in the community, and used to volunteer to take a blind man who lives in Burton Bradstock to do his weekly shopping.”

Mrs Tunney said: “They were really lovely people and we always used to share a laugh with them, you would never see Pepe without a smile on his face.

“We couldn't believe it when we were told what had happened, my legs went weak. We were only talking to them on Friday, joking about Christmas cards.

“They kept themselves so fit and they were both still young in the mind.

“It's such a tragedy.”

The couple met in the early 1960's through the Catholic church in London where they were both living.

Pepe, who comes from northern Spain, who was then at university, later worked for British Rail and was a surveyor on the Property Board.

Patricia, whose family are from the west of Ireland, worked for the Aer Lingus airline office in London, a job she gave up when the couple had children.

They lived for 40 years in the same house in the Harrow area of London and moved to West Dorset ten years ago.

They leave three children and six grandchildren.

Police are renewing their appeal for witnesses who are asked to contact Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number i09344.

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