A RETIRED GP who worked in Leigh for 40 years died after colliding with a parked van in Warrington while on his way to the supermarket.

Dr Stephen Geoghegan was driving down Common Lane on April 3 towards the centre of Culcheth when he hit a parked Ford Transit van.

Cheshire Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday how the collision caused his Honda Jazz to crash into an oncoming Ford Transit van before the car flipped onto its roof.

Paul Bridge was decorating inside a house on Common Lane when he heard a "loud bang" followed by a prolonged car horn.

He went outside to investigate when the horn did not stop and found a car on its roof and his Ford van shunted backwards.

He called the emergency services once he realised the driver was unresponsive.

Paul McNamee was driving along Common Lane near Hob Hey Lane at around 4pm when he spotted a grey car travelling towards him.

He said: “It all happened in a couple of seconds and he made no attempt to slow down when nearing the parked van.

“There was a sudden bang, a horrible sound of metal and a black shadow before the car hit my windscreen.

“It all went quiet - it was horrible and is something I’ll never forget.”

Eileen Geoghegan, Stephen’s wife, told the court how he regularly drove into the centre of Culcheth as it is only half a mile from their house.

She said: “He was very familiar with the route.

"He told me he was going to the supermarket and newsagent to pick up the papers, it was a normal day.

“He was a very careful driver.”

No alcohol or drugs were found in Dr Geoghegan's system and he had no serious health problems.

PC Michael Thompson from the collision investigation unit said he was unable to determine the speed Mr Geoghegan was travelling at due to the lack of physical damage to the parked van.

Dr Geoghegan suffered traumatic head and spinal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene after an air ambulance was called.

The driver of the moving Ford Transit van sustained minor injuries and was treated at hospital.

The 84-year-old served in the NHS in the Leigh area for four decades and was a well-respected GP.

In a statement at the time of the accident, doctor Geoghegan’s family said: “It is with great sadness that Dr Stephen Geoghegan passed away on Wednesday following a road traffic collision in Culcheth.

“Stephen was a much-loved husband and father.

“He was a GP in the Leigh area for 40 years, and was well-respected within his profession.

“This tragic event will leave a huge gap in our lives.”

Coroner Claire Welch concluded Dr Geoghegan’s death was a result of a road traffic collision and offered her condolences to his family.