‘Fatal accident’ prompts coroner to recommend changing life expectancy

An inquest has heard that a man who died after suffering a fatal accident at the age of 65 was likely to have lived a longer life than the coroner’s recommended.

The inquest at the Old Bailey was told that Dr Peter McLean, 74, died on October 14, 2016.

He was admitted to hospital on the afternoon of October 15 after suffering an “injury to the heart” in a car accident in London’s Kings Cross.

His wife and son, who were on holiday in the area, were on the way home when the accident occurred.

Inspector Mark Tinkler, who was leading the inquest, said Dr McLean was found dead on the floor of the car.

He said the cause of death was asphyxia due to a pulmonary embolism, but there was no evidence of foul play.

The coroner, Mr Justice Patrick McLean said he did not believe it was a homicide.

He also ruled that Dr Mclean’s death was not “unnatural”, saying he had a medical history of cardiac problems.

Dr McLean died of an “unexpected and unexpected complication”, and the coroner said the inquest had been “an extremely difficult and prolonged process”.

Mr McLean’s family described him as “a gentle man” and “a wonderful father” and said he was “a good man”.

He was a keen sailor and was “always in the mood to give a lift”, his son-in-law said.

He had no previous convictions, but he had been involved in two convictions, for theft and for failing to comply with a court order, and was due to go on licence in February 2019.

A number of witnesses gave evidence, including the son of a family friend who was on holiday at the time of the accident.

He was driving an Oldsmobile Nova on the A6 and the accident happened as he passed the intersection at Clapham Junction.

He suffered “severe chest pain” but his wife and daughter, who both lived in the UK, rushed him to hospital.

Mr Mclean was found unconscious in the car but died on arrival.

Dr Tinkling said the coroner “had to be very careful in his opening statement” to avoid “giving too much away”.

He added: “He has to take into account that this was an accident which was likely caused by the collision with another car which was going through the intersection.”

The circumstances of this collision were extremely unlikely to be the result of a person falling from the car and it is very unlikely that anyone else would have been at fault.

“In addition to the impact of the collision on Mr McLean there were other factors that contributed to his death.”

I do not know how much it would have changed the coroner, or anyone else, had he decided that this accident was an unnatural death.

“Dr Mclean worked at the Royal London Hospital and had been employed by the Royal College of Surgeons.

He retired in October 2016 after 32 years as a consultant pathologist.

He became the chief coroner for London in November last year.