A Tragic Accident in Sheffield - August 1958

A report in the local paper dated Monday 4th August 1958 stated 

KILLED WIFE WHILE REVERSING VAN by our Sheffield correspondent 

A 25 year old Sheffield Greengrocer knocked down and killed his 35 year old wife while reversing his van yesterday. Police believe the wife Mrs. Sylvia Hill of Poole Road, Sheffield slipped behind the van in the pouring rain. Her husband Donald spent last night at the home of relatives

The couple had just delivered some potatoes to a new shop in Low Edges Road Sheffield into which they intended to move shortly when the accident happened

Another report in the Sheffield Telegraph added some ore detail

A day later on 5th August 1958, the accident featured briefly in The Times


An inquest was opened in Sheffield by the Coroner Mr. A. P. Lockwood. Featured below is a report of the case that appeared in that day's edition of the Sheffield Star (Friday, 8th August 1958)    

A report also appeared in the Saturday edition of The Sheffield Telegraph (9th August 1958). 

A verdict of death by misadventure was entered by the Coroner

On Thursday 7th August a notice was placed in the Births, Marriages and Deaths

HILL Sylvia nee Enzer  - dearly loved daughter and sister. Cortege leaves mothers residence 30Hawkshead Road, Grimesthorpe. Cremation City Road 1.00 p.m. Monday 11th August. Cut flowers only please to the above address. So dearly loved

A further report later that year gave details of the late Sylvia Hill's estate


Mrs. Sylvia Hill of Low Edges Road Sheffield who was knocked down and killed on August 3rd last year by her husbands one ton van while he was reversing it left 6,302 (2.397 net). She died in testate.

The tragic accident had long lasting effects. Nine years later on 3rd August 1967 in the "in Memoriam" section of the Sheffield Star there were two captions inserted one from Sylvia's mother and the other from her brothers and sisters. The former mentioned that Sylvia's father had died just over two weeks prior to the accident. (July 16th 1958).The latter caption gave Sylvia's brothers and sisters names as Dennis, Muriel, May and Leonard. Her maiden name was ENZER. 

Superficially it was one of those tragic accidents that whilst reported and commented upon at the time, gradually fade from people's memory. However this accident was remembered by someone I worked with in the mid eighties. She lived near the shop in Low Edges and spoke of the events that occurred that night. It was quite a shock because it was only a few years earlier that I had been told that my dad had been married before and that his first wife Sylvia had been run over and killed by her second husband in a tragic accident. My dad's marriage to Sylvia had ended in divorce many years earlier.  

My dad never spoke to me about his first wife and by the same token his divorce. It was only when we were sorting out his papers following his death in 1999 that we came across the cuttings relating to the accident. 

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