James Peters, president of Twickenham Rugby Club, was on his way to pick up his wife Susan when he came across the wreckage of a crash in the street.
Not realising who it was he ran to the aid of the dying woman who had been knocked down just seconds earlier as she crossed the street.
It was only when another passer-by handed him a handbag that discovered the awful truth that it was the mother of his three children lying in the road.
"I didn't realise it was her for five, six even seven minutes," Mr Peters, who runs his own heating business, said.
"I had just stopped to help as I saw there had been an accident. Then another person who had stopped handed me a handbag and I recognised it. I couldn't believe it.
"It's no reassurance to me that I was there at her final moments, there's not much reassurance anywhere, I'm devastated. My wife was perfect."
Mr Peters, who had just celebrated his 40-year ruby wedding anniversary two days before the crash last Friday in Leatherhead, Surrey, was yesterday being comforted by his family.
He was making the short five minute drive from the couple's home in Leatherhead to a nearby bus stop where he picks his wife up so she does not have to walk home.
She was travelling back from work at Surrey County Council's offices in Kingston, Surrey, as normal when tragedy struck his 60-year-old wife.
Mr Peter's good friend and chairman of Twickenham Rugby Club e-mailed club members about the tragic incident.
He wrote: "It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that Sue Peters, Jim's wife, died last night as a result of a road traffic incident.
"Jim himself was not involved in the accident, but tragically came upon it when on his way to pick up Sue.
"Our thoughts are with Jim and his family."
The couple's home sits at the end of a private road and is surrounded by dense forest and a golf course.
A close neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "They are such a lovely couple.
"They were getting to that age where they could really start to enjoy what they had achieved in life.
"It's taken my breath away I cannot believe it. Jim must be destroyed."
A Surrey Police spokesman, said: "A 25-year-old man from Fetcham was arrested and has been released on police bail until 7 November in connection with this incident."