A GRIEVING husband has paid a moving tribute to his ‘one-in-a-million’ wife who died when their car span out of control and hit an oncoming Asda delivery van.

Helen Wolfendale, of Trinity Drive in Holme, succumbed to her injuries, which she suffered in the crash on the A6070 near Burton-in-Kendal, on December 23, 2022, in Royal Preston Hospital.

Mrs Wolfendale, 41, an IT Technician for the Outward Bound Trust, was a passenger in the car, which was also carrying their two children, who suffered minor injuries in the crash at around 10.35am on December 17.

Her husband Jonathan Wolfendale, 43, was driving the vehicle, a Skoda Roomster, and was critically injured, spending 76 days in hospital.

The inquest at the coroner’s court in Cockermouth heard a statement by Mr Wolfendale, which said he had no recollection of the incident, or of the previous two days, but the news was broken to him when he awoke from a coma in hospital.

Eyewitness Stuart East, who was travelling north behind the Asda van, a Mercedes Sprinter, said the driving of the van was ‘safe’ and ‘appropriate to the conditions, which were ‘very cold’ and 'icy’.

He said he saw an oncoming black car lose control and ‘spin across the carriageway’, and there was ‘nothing the Asda van could have done to avoid it’.

The driver of the Asda van, Thomas Tyler, said the Skoda ‘appeared to be driving normally’ but at a distance of around 100 yards ‘began to fishtail’.

He said he braked hard but could not steer in any direction to avoid the car, which hit his vehicle ‘very hard’.

Mr Tyler tested negative for both alcohol and drugs.

Due to the serious injuries to Mr and Mrs Wolfendale, the attendant paramedic called Great North Air Ambulance, requesting two, the first of which arrived at 11.12am. Mrs Wolfendale was cut free from the wreckage by fire crews at 11.25am and airlifted to hospital.

Dr Isobel Freshwater, from GNAA, confirmed in a statement that Mrs Wolfendale, appeared ’extremely unwell’ with ‘signs of severe head injury, multiple limb fractures, and low blood pressure’.

Mrs Wolfendale’s condition continued to deteriorate and she suffered a cardiac arrest on the morning of December 23, and could not be resuscitated.

A police report into the crash concluded that the most likely cause of the crash was the condition of the roads.

It said that the Skoda was likely driving on the left side of the carriageway, where the cars tyres would have encountered standing water or ice, which was present on the road, causing it to lose control.

A statement from Cumbria County Council confirmed that while the road had been ‘pre-treated’ the area where the crash occurred would not have been treated as it was at the ‘end of gritting route’.

Mr Wolfendale told how ‘besotted’ he was with his late wife and that she was a ‘top mum’.

They had met on a blind date when Mrs Wolfendale was in the army and she had served her country in two seven-month stints in Afghanistan.

He said: “(Our family) was a close unit and we did so many things together.

“She was amazing at everything, we complemented each other perfectly, like two peas in a pod.

“I’m so privileged that we have two wonderful children and I am filled with sadness that she won’t have the opportunity to see them grow into adults.”

Area Coroner for Cumbria Kirsty Gomersal concluded that the medical cause of Mrs Wolfendale’s death was multiple injuries including cerebral and cardiac contusions due to a road traffic collision.