THE DEATH of a Cirencester woman nine days after a car crash which killed her husband, could not be blamed on the collision or any lack of care in hospital, a coroner has ruled.

Carole Day, 76, had an underlying heart condition and could have died at any time regardless of the injuries she suffered in the collision caused by dangerous driver Shane Davis, in November 2016, a coroner concluded during the inquest yesterday.

Davis, of Fosse Way, Cirencester, is already serving a six year jail term for causing the death of Mrs Day's husband John by dangerous driving on the A429 near Cotswold Airport.

Yesterday's inquest heard that Mrs Day was admitted to Southmead Hospital after the crash but was found unresponsive in bed on Nov 18, and sadly died five days later.

She had suffered a cardiac arrest which led to irreversible and terminal brain damage.

The coroner ruled that although the injuries Mrs Day suffered, followed by surgery, could increase the risk of heart attack, she did have underlying coronary heart disease and therefore her cardiac arrest could have happened at any time.

A post mortem revealed that two of the three main arteries to her heart were severely narrowed with signs of damage to the heart muscle from coronary disease.

Pathologist Dr Russell Delaney told the court it was impossible to link Mrs Day's death to the car crash car as she was at risk of a cardiac arrest "at any time."

Previously concerns had been raised by the family that hospital records showed Mrs Day was not checked at 4.30am on the morning of her death last November, in line with hospital guidelines. She was not seen till 6.30am by which time she was unresponsive after her heart attack.

Hospital doctors told the court that clinicians had to balance the need for extra observations and the needs of the patient to rest.

Mrs Skerrett, the senior coroner overseeing the inquest, recognised that Mrs Day had been checked on by staff throughout the night, even though formal observations had not been carried out.

She concluded that the key issue was whether the car crash could be linked to the cardiac arrest but that there was no evidence to suggest it was.

"The most significant finding was the severity of the heart disease which could have caused an arrest at any time," said the coroner.

"There had been a clinical improvement between injury and the collapse - which was sudden and unexpected - and I am not able to establish a link between the road traffic accident and the arrest."

She said she could not find anything to suggest that the death may have been c but she agreed it would have been better if the observations at 4:30 am had been carried out.

The coroner therefore recorded a conclusion of death by natural causes death.

But she said she would consider issuing a Prevention of Further Death Report after looking further into how a decision is reached to depart from hospital guidelines on timed observations of patients.