Holiday fall ends in tragedy for family

The holiday resort of Puerto Rico where Ian Scholes died after a fall
The holiday resort of Puerto Rico where Ian Scholes died after a fall

A couple’s holiday to Gran Canaria was tragically cut short when the husband stumbled on steps near their hotel, an inquest heard.

Ian and Sheila Scholes had been for a night out in the resort of Puerto Rico when he fell and hit his head, Bolton Coroner’s Court was told.

Mr Scholes, 58, was immediately taken to hospital for treatment but he had suffered serious inter-cranial injuries, including swelling to the brain, and doctors informed his wife the prognosis was bleak.

The inquest heard that within a short time his daughter, Nicola Hollingsworth, and son, Andrew Scholes, had flown out to the island to support their mother.

But medics told the family there was little more that could be done for their father and a decision was eventually taken to withdraw life support.

Mr Scholes, of Firs Lane, Leigh, died in the early hours of July 8, the court was told.

Post-mortem examinations were carried out by a Spanish pathologist, Natalia Real, and later by Dr Naveed Sharma, at Wigan mortuary, when the body of Mr Scholes was later repatriated to the UK. The cause of death in each case was said to be “traumatic head injuries”.

In a statement Mrs Scholes, a care assistant, confirmed that the couple had enjoyed an evening meal and were returning to their accommodation, at the Hotel Riosol, when the fall occurred.

“I was walking on this side and he was behind me and he just fell,” she added.

The inquest heard that medical attention was quickly sought and the family was offered support by consular staff and insurance agents, while they were at the hospital, though there was initially a language barrier which presented some communication difficulties.

Timothy Brennand, assistant coroner for Bolton West, who had examined photographs of the scene, said it did not appear that the steps were in a particularly poor state of repair. But he had noted that there was no hand-rail serving the “very steep” flight of

steps.

Returning a conclusion of accidental death, the coroner said the extent of Mr Scholes’ injuries, following his fall, were unsurvivable.