Learner driver killed mother-of-two while trying to park at Sunningdale boarding school, inquest hears

A kitchen porter ran over and killed a parent while he was trying to park at a Sunningdale boarding school, an inquest has heard.

Melvin Owusu-Ansah, crushed Caixia Sun, 50, while driving a Ford Galaxy belonging to Sunningdale School at about 7.50pm on Thursday, November 5, 2015.

Jurors heard how Mr Owusu-Ansah, who only had a provisional driving licence, mistakenly pressed the accelerator when the car was in reverse gear, sending it careering into the mother-of-two.

He told Reading Coroners Court yesterday (Tuesday): “I was driving the people carrier to just park it up in between the two school minibuses.

“I tried to park the car but then my foot went on the gas and I tried to brake but I couldn’t.

“I just heard a scream and then got out the car.”

Paramedics treated Mrs Sun for head injuries but she died at the scene.

The inquest heard that on the evening of Mrs Sun’s death, Mr Owusu-Ansah had been helping provide food for pupils and parents of the school in Dry Arch Road.

Head chef Darren Appleby told the inquest yesterday that he drove the Ford Galaxy back from the school’s pavilion to the kitchen to unload the dirty catering equipment before the accident.

He said: “I was unloading the trolley and before I knew it he (Melvin) had driven off.

“I tried to flag him down but I was quite busy moving the hot plate.”

The court heard that Mr Appleby told police in his first written statement that the teenager had asked permission to park the car and he said ‘OK’.

But in an interview with the Health and Safety Executive in July 2016, the head chef said that he had shouted ‘no,no’ when the youngster asked to drive.

Mr Appleby told the court there had been a similar incident earlier that year where Mr Owusu-Ansah had driven the car without his permission.

The head chef said that the teenager asked him not to tell anyone about the first incident otherwise he could lose his job.

Representing the family of Mrs Sun, Robert Wastell said to Mr Appleby: “Your story, if I understand it, is that despite you having told Melvin you may both lose your jobs in the summer, he decided to try and drive the van again despite you saying no continuously.

“That just makes no sense.”

The inquest continues.


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