A GRANDMOTHER crushed by a cow could have been saved if she had been taken to hospital quicker, an inquest heard.

Virginia Arnison-Newgass died after being squashed against a gate on her farm.

The 70-year-old was helping her son Richard reunite a cow with its newborn twin calves at Gamble Down Farm near Romsey when it suddenly lurched sideways.

The inquest heard it took 26 minutes for a paramedic to reach the Sherfield English farm and another hour before Mrs Arnison- Newgass arrived at Southampton General Hospital.

Dr Adnan Al Badri, consultant pathologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, said: “Both my colleagues thought her life might have been saved with a more prompt journey to hospital. I think any medical condition if you can get the patient to hospital quickly they stand a better chance of surviving.”

Mrs Arnison-Newgass, who was told she had a benign tumour on her liver in 1997, died at about midday on September 21 last year, three hours after the accident.

The inquest heard the gate’s impact had burst the tumour, causing massive internal bleeding.

Michael Arnison-Newgass, her husband of 45 years, said: “Any abdominal injury of this sort, to have any chance of survival, you have to be in the operating theatre within the hour.”

Paying tribute to his wife, he added: “She died with her cattle on her farm and she was a country woman above all.”

Stephen Bowden, the family’s solicitor, said: “There’s been some concern from the family about the delay, it was an abdominal injury and it was one and half hours. It is a matter of concern but there’s no wish to attribute blame.”

Returning a verdict of accidental death, the jury said the tumour was such that the force of the gate did not need to be significant to cause the rupture.

A spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance said the service received the emergency call at 8.55am and the closest available response unit was despatched withing three minutes, arriving on scene at 9.18am.

She added: “The patient received emergency treatment at the scene and was conveyed to Southampton General Hospital by road.

“South Central Ambulance Service would like to apologise for the delay experienced and the distress caused to the patient and their family.”