A RETIRED headteacher died after slipping on ice as he was putting salt on his driveway.

An inquest was told that on Boxing Day last year Raymond Matthews, 78, had his family visiting his home on Snowdon Drive, Wrexham.

Among the family members staying with Mr Matthews and his wife Enid were their son-in-law, the Reverend Steven Green from Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

In a statement Mr Green said his father-in-law got up early on December 26 to scatter salt on the steep driveway to melt the ice.

Not long afterwards the Rev Green heard the doorbell ring. Two men had escorted Mr Matthews after he had fallen and hit his head.

The Rev Green said: “He could speak but he was confused and was shaking and cold.”

Mr Matthews, who had worked as a headteacher at Upton Manor Junior School on the Wirral, was rushed to the Maelor Hospital with a massive brain injury.

As there were no beds available in the intensive care unit at the Maelor Mr Matthews was transferred to Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan.

A consultant at Glan Clwyd said Mr Matthews had suffered a skull fracture and an intracranial haemorrhage.

He died at 10.10am on December 27.

The inquest was told Mr Matthews took early retirement from teaching because of illness, before becoming manager of the Christian Book Shop in Wrexham. He and Enid had two children, Jane and Timothy, who died of a brain injury in 2001.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner for North East Wales John Hughes said: “This man was a much loved and much missed man."

He added: “On the day of the fall he behaved in a typical selfless way. He wanted to ensure the safety of his family at Christmas time, particularly with kids.

“I want to express, particularly to his widow, my sincere condolences for this very sad loss.”