Mum died from raft race injury


- Credit: Archant

A NORTH Somerset mum who took part in an annual raft race in Clevedon died three days after banging her head during the event.

The race was held as part of the Marine Lake festival which is put on at the seafront attraction every September and is organised by the voluntary group, MARLENS.

Jane Newport and her friend Christine Harris had entered the raft race dressed as The Owl and the Pussycat and took to the water on September 16.

It is believed Mrs Newport, who was known to many as Coco, hit her head when she fell into the water while trying to get on the raft.

During an inquest into Mrs Newport’s death, held at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court on January 24, a statement from Mrs Harris revealed her friend had seemed fine apart from complaining of a headache.

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It said: “Coco got onto the raft but fell sideways into the water.

“She surfaced and we both laughed a lot.

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“One of our group asked her if she was alright several times. At no point did she say she had banged her head.”

While on the lake, Mrs Harris said her friend mentioned her head felt cold and later complained of a headache, which she still had the following day.

On September 19, Mrs Newport’s former partner went to her home in Clevedon Road, Weston, after her daughter alerted him to the fact they had arranged to meet up but her mum had not shown.

Mr Simms knocked on the front door but got no answer so used a spare key to get in. It was then he found the 66-year-old collapsed on the floor of her bathroom.

An ambulance was called but she was pronounced dead at the scene at 6.25pm.

A post mortem revealed Mrs Newport had received a head injury consistent with a blow to the back of the head, which had caused her brain to bruise and swell.

Concluding the inquest, Assistant Deputy Coroner Terence Moore recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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