Falling Lebanese cedar branch killed woman at Kew, court hears

A Lebanese cedar branch killed a New Zealander at Kew Gardens on 23 September, West London Coroners' Court has heard.

The 31-year-old from Wellington named Erena Louise Wilson died instantly after the Cedrus libani branch fell in 30mph winds on 23 September, the court heard.

Inspector Simon Young of Richmond Police told West London Coroners Court that several friends told him that they had been walking in the gardens when they heard a loud crack, which resembled a thunder crack. "They looked up at the branch and ran," he reported. When they looked round Ms Wilson was on the ground with branches from a giant Lebanese Cedar around her.

Paramedics were unable to save her and she was pronounced dead at the scene at 14.51. She died instantly from traumatic head injury, coroner Alison Thompson heard.

Dr Robert Chapman held a post mortem and found the cause of death was multiple injuries including a non-survivable head injury.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) now have it in their remit to take charge of the investigation, said Inspector Young, because there is no suggestion of a crime.

The police will now act as family liaison for a maternal uncle of Ms Wilson, who lives in the UK. No family were in court. Ms Wilson’s mother lives in Auckland and her father lives in Australia.

Ms Wilson who was born in Wellington lived in Hanwell in London W7.

A date is yet to be fixed for an inquest pending an HSE report.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Mowers special report - Tractor-mounted units

Mowers special report - Tractor-mounted units

Are cylinder or rotary mowers the best bet to maximise efficiency, performance and productivity? Sally Drury reports.

Mowers special report - Ever-improving ride-ons

Mowers special report - Ever-improving ride-ons

Manufacturers are offering grounds professionals better models to tackle the most challenging mowing conditions, writes Sally Drury.

Mowers special report -  Remote-control and walk-behind mowers

Mowers special report - Remote-control and walk-behind mowers

Topography and the environment are key factors for mowing awkward areas but the latest machines are making the job easier, says Sally Drury.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Products & Kit Resources