Husband is a ‘broken man’ after crash killed wife

John and Betty Rooney
John and Betty Rooney

A devoted husband whose beloved wife died after he crashed their car into a lamp-post in Leyland had lost consciousness at the wheel.

John Rooney, 79, from Leyland Lane, is a ‘broken man’ after the tragic accident killed his 80-year-old wife Betty in April.

An inquest into Betty’s death at Preston Coroner’s Court yesterday heard that Mr Rooney either fell asleep or had a medical episode as he drove the VW Polo along Schleswig Way on April 2.

The couple were taken to Royal Preston Hospital after their car veered off the road and hit a lamp-post before continuing into a ditch.

Betty, a caring mother-of-four and grandmother-of-eight, died three days later from a lung infection as a result of the injuries caused to her chest.

Mr Rooney, who has poor health, spent around two weeks in hospital before recovering from his injuries.

The couple’s daughters now say he is struggling to come to terms with what happened.

Describing her parents as ‘soul mates’, Lorraine Lockwood said: “They were married for 57 years and dad is missing mum badly.

“He is a broken man. They did everything together.

“They were homebirds really and they lived for each other. They were happy with what they had.”

She added that her mum, who was a housewife, was a ‘very private person’ whose main priority was her husband and her family, and said she also loved her pet dogs.

- For more on this story, see this week’s Leyland Guardian