A WOMAN who was killed when a tree fell on her car during a storm died as the result of an accident.

Assistant Dorset Coroner Brendan Allen formally recorded a conclusion of accidental death after a two-day inquest held in Bournemouth.

Flora Walsh, 69, from Verwood died in the incident on the B3081 Verwood Road, near Alderholt on the morning of Saturday November 2 2019.

The coroner heard the tree that fell had been inspected by a qualified tree surgeon in 2018 and deemed healthy.

The land to the west of the B3081, known as Watchmoor Wood, had been subject to a clearfell operation in May 2019.

Mrs Walsh  had been on her way to her daughter’s home in Eastleigh to watch the rugby world cup final when the tree fell on her Ford B-max car.

Witness Christopher Wild, who was driving in the opposite direction to Mrs Walsh, told the inquest that conditions that morning had been windy and it had been raining hard overnight.

In a statement read to the court, he said: “I remember seeing a large tree on the left side of the road begin to move. The tree was moving to the right as I looked at it.

“The tree did not sway, it just fell to the right – it appeared to move in slow motion. I realised it was falling and began to brake. I then realised a small Ford car was approaching from the opposite direction.

“I then saw the tree fall directly onto the Ford car. It made a loud noise. There was only one person inside the car and I did not think they could have survived the incident.”

The inquest heard Mrs Walsh was a practising catholic and was active in the local community and always helping others.

Her daughter, Clare Holmes, told the hearing: “She was a wonderful woman who made a big impact on everyone she met.”

She added: “We spent a lot of time together in her last weeks, even then she was thinking of others.

“Her priest said at her funeral that we may never know the full extent to which she helped and supported people, but knowing her it is clear she touched many hearts."

On the night before the fatal accident, Dorset Police had received reports of 50 trees falling in high winds. A weather warning had also been issued by the Met Office.

In relation to the circumstances the deceased came by her death the coroner recorded: “Flora Margaret Walsh died on the B3081 Verwood Road on 2nd November 2019 when, in high winds and after a period of high rainfall, an oak tree growing to the west of the highway fell onto the car she was driving.

"The land to the west of the B3081, known as Watchmoor Wood, had been subject to a clearfell operation in May 2019.”