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TV weather forecaster in crash tragedy

PUBLISHED: 15:21 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:20 05 July 2010

A talented television producer and former weather forecaster would still be alive today if she had been wearing a seatbelt when her car crashed, an inquest has heard.

A talented television producer and former weather forecaster would still be alive today if she had been wearing a seatbelt when her car crashed, an inquest has heard.

Tricia Williamson, 52, was thrown from the window of her Ford Fiesta after she lost control and hit an embankment, propelling the car into the air.

Ms Williamson, best known to viewers as a weather forecaster on TV-am and ITV national bulletins, died a day before she was due to move house, yesterday's hearing at Lowestoft was told.

Police investigators discovered that mother-of-two Ms Williamson had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the tragedy on a rural Waveney Valley road.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “Investigators felt if a seatbelt had been worn, she would not have sustained the injuries leading to her sad death. It is a very tragic accident…”

The inquest heard that the crash happened on the B1116 Harleston to Dennington road at Weybread at about 10pm on November 9. A police statement said Ms Williamson's car failed to negotiate a left-hand bend before hitting an embankment, spinning through the air and landing on its wheels. Passers-by found her with multiple injuries in a field, but efforts to resuscitate her failed.

Ms Williamson had been living at Swan Lane in Harleston but was due to move to a new home in nearby Fressingfield the day after her death.

In a statement, her mother Audrey Williamson said Tricia had been looking forward to a fresh start and described her daughter as a “wonderful, kind and caring person”.

Ms Williamson, also known as Patricia Maxwell-Lewis, graduated in Middle East studies and went to work for the TV-am breakfast show in 1987 and appeared on national bulletins in the early 1990s.

She was a producer on BBC East's current affairs show Inside Out from 2002 to 2006 and had moved on to work for the BBC in the south-west and east Midlands.

She had more recently been working for BBC3 producing a series about teenagers and had previously won awards for films about children with ADHD and a Salvation Army girl from Norwich.

The inquest heard that there was no evidence of any other vehicle being involved in the crash and there was no ice on the road at the time.

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