Dec 04, 2017

Elderly Woman Killed When Struck By Car in Driveway

Freda Kennewell has tragically died in the driveway of her own home after being accidentally run over by her own husband.

Her husband, Graham, was unaware that Freda was behind the car when he reversed his car out of their Barossa Valley home.

The accident happened a little before 6:30pm on Saturday. Neighbours rushed to help when they heard the crash on Trestrail Circuit in Williamstown.

“Me and my brother-in-law, we jacked the car up and we got her out from underneath the car straight away,” witness Jerry Hackett said.

“We had her out and my brother-in-law started CPR while we waited for the ambulance.”

Paramedics performed CPR but they were unable to save Freda, 83, who died at the scene, and Graham, 91, was taken to hospital as a precaution.

The couple’s son-in-law, Michael Lange, explained that “somehow or other he’s just got disoriented, and not knowing where he was, unfortunately, she was somewhere behind the car”.

“We really appreciate what everyone tried to do under these circumstances. Graham is just devastated by the whole thing.”   

“They were really excited about the new home,” he said.

Mrs Kennewell as a “really kind, caring person” and “was very community-minded”.

“She loved to sit and have a chat and a cup of tea and all of those things.

“Both Graham and Freda had volunteered for a lot of their lives at St Vinnies.”

As people get older there is a call for increased safety around their home – and this includes out in the front/backyard too and with their cars and licenses.

“He just won’t be able to live with himself will he?” neighbour Lyn Gardner said.

“The shock and the horror, you know, disbelief. My heart goes out to them.”

According to neighbours, the couple had only just bought the house six weeks ago, and spent their first night there last week. They were seemingly new to the area.

Driveway deaths are, unfortunately, common among the elderly. In August 2015, an elderly woman accidentally reversed over her husband in Davoren Park and in January 2014, a car rolled over an elderly woman in Wynn Vale after she thought she had safely parked. And in June this year a Balcatta woman was hit by another member of her family in her driveway.

Police are investigating the Barossa Valley accident.

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