Family pay tribute to 'intelligent and loving' Worthing grandfather who died after fall in the street

Tributes have been paid to a Worthing grandfather who died after a fall in the street.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 9:47 am
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 10:06 am
Ronald Edgar Drake. Picture contributed

Ronald Edgar Drake, 93, from Jubilee Court, was a retired engineering lecturer and a competitive cyclist, an inquest heard at Crawley Coronor's Court on Tuesday (March 12).

Father and grandfather of five Mr Drake was a 'very fit and intelligent man' who was 'full of life', according to his family.

Two of Mr Drake's children, Paul Drake and Sheila Browse, who attended the inquest, said, even in his old age, their dad continued his cycling and healthy lifestyle but became less able after a fall whilst dismounting from his bicycle.

Ronald Edgar Drake. Picture contributed

The inquest heard that the fall resulted in Mr Drake having to use a walking stick before then having stabilisers put in after four further falls.

However, the rubber base of the walking stick started to wear down over time and, after failing to get it fixed, Mr Drake suffered his most serious fall when walking to a cafe in Worthing.

The inquest heard that the walking stick slipped from underneath Mr Drake, causing him to lose his balance and fall heavily on his right side causing several injuries, including a fracture. He was taken to Worthing Hospital and stayed there for two months before his death on December 3, 2018 after his health deteriorated.

Assistant West Sussex coroner Joanne Andrews said the cause of Mr Drake’s death was cardiac failure resulting from hospital-acquired pneumonia, due to his reduced mobility and several infections.

Ruling it as an accidental death, Ms Andrews said: "His fall at the cafe significantly contributed to his death.

“His walking stick slipped from under him and he was taken to hospital.

“And he sadly died having developed hospital acquired pneumonia.”

Mr Paul Drake and Mrs Browse said he was a very fit and intelligent man, who was 'incredibly close' to all his children.

Mr Drake said his dad had 'no domestic assistance' and 'wanted to be independent', even after the death of his wife Sally Diane Drake.

Mrs Browse said: "He was very kind and very active. He would always toddle off to the local shops on his own and very involved socially.

“Mum was a secretary, but she was really just a mum with five kids, and dad was just so active and very involved in our lives growing up.

"After he stopped working as a lecturer he still gave private maths tuition.

"He was great fun and was a very logical, mathematical man. He loved his oragami and soduku. He was totally cognitively intact."