An inquest has opened into the death of a ‘wonderful’ mum killed in a crash with a police vehicle in Oldham.
Heather Smedley, 53, died at the scene following the smash in Oldham Road, Royton, shortly after 10am on December 23. Officers from Greater Manchester Police had been chasing a suspected stolen car prior to colliding with Ms Smedley’s vehicle.
An inquest into her death was opened at Rochdale Coroners’ Court this morning (January 5). Police coroner’s officer Emma Campbell told the brief hearing that Ms Smedley worked as a cook supervisor and lived in Otmoor Way – a short distance from where the crash happened.
She added: “Heather was travelling down Oldham Road in Royton in a motor vehicle and went to turn into Otmoor Way to return home when she sadly collided with a police vehicle in pursuit with another vehicle, and collided with a lamp post.
“She died at the scene.”
Coroner Julie Mitchell ruled that a full inquest hearing would need to be held into Ms Smedley’s death.
However, she suspended proceedings pending the outcome of an ongoing police investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ms Smedley’s death. The coroner said she would carry out a further review of the case on April 26.
Paying tribute to Ms Smedley following her death, her family said: “To the most wonderful mother to Benjamin, Olivia and Jamie, daughter to Hilda and Fred, sister, friend, and wife to Damian. The world was a much better place with you in it.
“Our mum was the most kind, gentle, beautiful soul inside and out. She faced all of life’s challenges with her beautiful smile, and her bravery and courage never wavered.
“We could not have asked for a better role model growing up, giving everything, she had to all of those she loved, and always supporting those around her. She was the glue that held our family together. Her resilience and kindness inspired us all to be better.
“She had the greatest sense of humour and contagious laugh that we will miss every single day. You were too good for this world mum, there will be a hole in our hearts forever.”
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has said it is carrying out an investigation into whether “police actions were in accordance with policies and procedures.