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Teacher drowns after wind blew her into a river

A retired teacher who enjoyed being out in bad weather drowned in a freak accident after a huge gust of wind puffed up her overcoat and carried her into a river.

Valerie Weston

A retired teacher who enjoyed being out in bad weather drowned in a freak accident after a huge gust of wind puffed up her overcoat and carried her into a river, an inquest heard.

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Widow and Mother of two Valerie Weston, 58, was tending to her pot plants and tying up her canoe in a fierce Atlantic storm when it is feared she was literally lifted off her feet by winds of up to 70mph.

The force of the gale inside Mrs Weston's heavy coat lifted her into the air and blew her into the River Irwell at the bottom of her garden. reported Daily Mail

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In a statement, her son Joe Weston said: 'Mum was very interested in storms, she loved to be in the rain and allowed the rain to fall on her. But she was always very clumsy when it came to her own health and safety, even when she had no strength she wouldn't allow it to stop her.

'She was stubborn when it came to this. The police looked everywhere and it wasn't until the next day that mum was found.'

Mrs Weston's brother Neil Simms, 53, an operations manager, said: 'We think she has gone down to rescue her pot plants and moved towards the canoe to haul it to safety to stop it being washed away. That night the wind was very, very strong and the weather was terrible.'

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, coroner Richard Taylor said: 'This was a dreadful accident. She seems to me the most interesting of people with everything to live for. She may have went to secure everything before going to bed.

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'We will never know exactly but the theory is exactly right - somehow she was deposited into the river. She either slipped or the wind or whatever elements, in one form or other she was in the river and had no chance of getting out.'

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