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The Rushden Echo, 15th October 1909, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Baby’s Fatal Fall at Rushden(Title)

High Pavement In High-Street South Claims A Victim At Last

Jury’s Recommendation

The high pavement on the eastern side of High-street South strikes most visitors to Rushden as being very dangerous and wonder has frequently been expressed that there had been no fatal falls from it. Unfortunately, at last a fatality has resulted, the victim being a 16 months old baby, the daughter of Mr. James Westley, of 8, Albion-place. On Wednesday in last week, the baby was sent out in a push-cart in charge of its sister, aged nine, and when the elder child relinquished its hold for a moment the cart toppled over the edge of the pavement. The result was that the baby sustained an injury to the brain which caused its death on Monday morning.

An inquiry into the circumstances was held at the Waggon and Horses Inn on Monday evening, by Mr. J. Cairns Parker, Deputy Coroner. Mr. H. H. Hobbs was chosen foreman of the jury.

Dr. Greenfield said that on Thursday morning he was called to see the deceased child. He found her suffering from a large bruise on the forehead and he formed the opinion that the

Brain Was Severely Injured

A very high temperature developed, and the child had convulsions and eventually died. Witness had heard that deceased had a fall over an embankment and the injuries were such as would be caused by such a fall. It was quite likely that no sign of serious injury would be visible on Wednesday, when the accident happened, and if witness had been called in earlier he could have done nothing. The cause of death would be laceration of the brain.

Rose Ann Westley, the mother of the deceased, said that on Wednesday afternoon she sent the child out in a push-cart in charge of another daughter, nine years of age who had taken the baby out scores of times. About ten minutes afterwards, deceased was brought in by a neighbour, Mrs. Cox, and screamed and

Cried For An Hour

Deceased knew witness and seemed to get easier, though she was restless in the night. Next morning deceased was not so well and witness sent for the doctor, who continued to attend the deceased till her death that morning.

Nellie Westley, the child who was in charge of the deceased, said she left go of the push-cart in order to sit down and it ran over the edge of the high pavement.

Martha Cox, of 86 High-street South, said that on Wednesday afternoon at about ten minutes to 5, she saw the deceased in a push-cart on the high pavement at the bottom of Albion-place. There were some other children playing near. Witness turned her head a moment and on looking round again saw the cart and deceased just

Falling Over The Edge

of the pavement. The deceased fell on her head and face. Witness picked up the deceased and took her home.

The Coroner : How long have you lived in the High-street? – Witness : Eleven months, Sir.

Have you ever seen any other accidents? – Yes, Sir. Only about a month or five weeks ago, Mr. Clarke’s little boy fell over and I don’t know whether he broke his arm, but he’s got it in a sling. Little ones often fall over.

The Coroner, in summing up, said the jury would have seen that the pavement tilted towards the road and would be about four feet above the road. The only wonder was that the child was not killed outright. He did not think the jury would have any difficulty in arriving at a verdict.

Jury’s Opinion

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased died from injuries accidentally received through falling off the high causeway.

The Foreman of the jury thought it would be as well to call the attention of the Urban Council to the pavement. It was very dangerous, and it was desirable that, if possible, something should be done to avoid accidents in future. The Council acted on a previous expression of opinion from the jury in regard to the dangerous corner of Fitzwilliam-street.

Other jurymen expressed the opinion that the pavement was very dangerous, and at their unanimous request the Coroner undertook to forward an expression of their opinion to the Urban Council.

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