Inquest rules landslide couple met instant death

A COUPLE who were killed when a landslide engulfed their car died almost instantaneously, a coroner said yesterday.

A COUPLE who were killed when a landslide engulfed their car died almost instantaneously, a coroner said yesterday.

The inquest into the deaths of Rosemary Snell, 67, from Misterton, Somerset, and Michael Rolfe, 72, from Fivehead, Somerset, was opened and adjourned at West Dorset Coroner’s Court.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The pair were driving home from a night out in Beaminster, Dorset, when their silver Skoda was flattened in a tunnel by hundreds of tons of mud and rubble.

Their bodies lay undiscovered in Beaminster Tunnel until Monday evening.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “The pathologist found that the cause of death for Rosemary Snell was chest compression due to trapping in landslip.

“The coroner has also heard evidence that the pathologist found that the cause of death for Michael Rolfe was a fracture of the cervical spine due to trapping in landslip.

“The coroner states the death of Rosemary Snell would have been very rapid, while the death of Mr Rolfe would have been instantaneous. It has been stated the prospect of rescue for all practical purposes would have been nil.”