Eastbourne family’s tributes to grandmother who died in house crash tragedy

Ann Simpson and family SUS-151022-162708001
Ann Simpson and family SUS-151022-162708001

The family of a woman who died after her car crashed in to a house in Lower Willingdon this week have paid tribute to a “fun loving friend to many”.

Ann Simpson died when her Vauxhall Corsa left the road in Huggetts Lane – at the small roundabout with Seven Sisters Road – and careered in to the wall of a house on Monday afternoon.

She had been shopping and was driving back to her home in Old Town when the accident happened.

Police believe she suffered a medical episode at the wheel.

Emergency services, including police, the fire brigade, ambulance crews and the Air Ambulance – rushed to the scene but 85-year-old Mrs Simpson died despite the efforts of an off-duty paramedic who was in the area at the time and ambulance staff.

The road was closed for several hours. The homeowners of the house are believed to have been away on holiday at the time of the crash and did not return until Monday evening.

Yesterday morning (Thursday) Mrs Simpson’s family, daughters Jan and Lin and sons Mick and Andy, paid tribute to their mother.

Mrs Simpson was originally from County Durham but moved to Eastbourne after meeting her husband Jack, who was from the town, while in London.

The couple lived in the vicarage at St Philips Church in Whitley Road where Mrs Simpson worked as a housekeeper and also at addresses in Hampden Park and Old Town.

She worked at Ocklynge School, had part time jobs as a waitress and home help and worked as a GP’s housekeeper before spending a number of year’s in her family run pound shop business in Hailsham, until she retired at the age of 78.

She enjoyed spending time with her family which includes eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, and her best friend Phyl Sherlock. Her husband passed away 20 years ago.

Her family said, “Mum lived life to the full and was always out and about doing something.

“She was an inspirational lady, loved her family and in turn she was loved and adored. We will miss her terribly.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said, “Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision in Huggett’s Lane, in which an 85-year-old driver sadly died.

“It happened at around 3.15pm on Monday when a Vauxhall Corsa car travelling south in Seven Sisters Road collided with a wall in Huggett’s Lane. The elderly Eastbourne woman driving the car was pronounced dead at the scene.”

A post mortem is being carried out and the accident is being investigated by the coroner’s office. A date for Mrs Simpson’s funeral has not yet been set.

Anyone who saw what happened or noticed the Corsa being driven just prior to the crash is asked to email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting Operation Connaught.