ONE of Yorkshire’s leading musicians died when she was hit by a motorbike as she crossed a road an inquest heard yesterday,
Carole Palmer, the principal oboe player and administrator with the Orchestra of Square Chapel, Halifax, and a musician with Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra, was crossing the A646 Halifax Road at Eastwood, Todmorden, on the afternoon of December 8 last year when she died.
Following her death tributes poured in from shocked colleagues.
Lawrence Killian, chairman of Halifax Symphony Orchestra, said: “Carole mixed in pretty high circles as far as classical music was concerned and had a national reputation. She is going to leave a massive gap in music-making in this region.’’
Miss Palmer had also played the oboe and cor anglais for Halifax Symphony Orchestra and Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra. She had been a member of the Huddersfield orchestra for more than 30 years.
The resumed inquest at Halifax Town Hall heard that Miss Palmer, 57, of Glenfield, Greetland, lost her life when a powerful 1200cc Suzuki motorcycle ridden by Paul Smith collided with her.
Several witnesses said the noise from the motorcycle made them jump as it passed them.
But coroner Roger Whittaker heard that it was being ridden in a “calm and controlled’’ manner and had not been “overtaking aggressively’’.
Guy Wilson, of Almondbury, who had been in his car in a lay-by waiting for his wife to come back from the shops, said: ‘’I remember seeing her (Miss Palmer) setting off to cross the road. The next time I looked I saw a motorcyclist driving into her. He was probably just on the correct side of the road.
“’As far as I could see the lady was hit by the motorcyclist and rolled on to the front of the bike.
“The bike, with her on the front of it, skidded down the road. Her body was thrown off. I thought it had been my wife that had been hit.’’
Miss Palmer died of multiple injuries.
Mr Smith suffered head and leg injuries to and was taken to hospital. He has since made a full recovery.
Collision investigator Keith Reynor, of West Yorkshire Police, said there “was no evidence to indicate excessive speed’’ on the part of Mr Smith, a 25-year-old engineer at the time. The road has a 40mph limit.
Mr Smith, of Highfield Crescent, Hebden Bridge, told police he couldn’t remember much about the collision.
Asked what speed he had been travelling at he replied: “I’m not sure. I know I was not flying past, because of the road conditions.”
Mr Whittaker recorded a verdict of accidental death, saying it had been a tragic incident.
He said the place from where Miss Palmer decided to cross was a difficult place for pedestrians and motorists.
He added: “Her reason for being there was to do some research into someone who may have been buried in the graveyard opposite, which is why she was crossing.’’