Buckden woman killed after stepping in front of minibus, inquest hears

14:34 01 May 2014

Mill Road, Buckden.

Mill Road, Buckden.

Archant

A woman was killed after stepping out in front of a minibus on a village road, an inquest heard.

Samantha Medlow, of Lucks Lane, Buckden, suffered fatal head injuries in the accident on November 23 last year.

The 46-year-old was hit by a Renault Master taxi in Mill Road, Buckden, at the junction with Greenway at 10.08pm.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mrs Medlow had 261 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood – over three times the legal limit to drive. She had previously seen a GP and sought help for a drinking problem. However, on November 12 she had visited her doctor and said that she had given up drinking alcohol.

The driver of the minibus, Tiago Soares, said he had been driving home through Buckden to the Offords after dropping off his final fare when the accident happened.

He added: “It was dark, there were cars coming in the opposite direction and then suddenly this figure just appeared in front of me with arms outstretched. I didn’t have time to stop and I hit her.

“She was wearing dark clothing and I just didn’t see her until the last second, the last moment.”

Collision investigator PC Tim Kirkby concluded that the vehicle was travelling between 35 and 43mph. Although this was over the 30mph limit on that stretch of road, he said that given the circumstances of the collision it was “likely” that the crash would have still occurred.

He added that Mrs Medlow would have been able to see the car for up to eight seconds before impact.

Mr Soares dialled 999 and witnesses pulled over to assist Mrs Medlow by fetching blankets to cover her as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.

The inquest heard that at earlier that evening Mrs Medlow had argued with another customer in the One Stop shop on the High Street.

Shift manager Danielle Colquitt said: “It was quite clear that she was under the influence of alcohol. She was slurring her words and you could smell the alcohol on her.”

After about 10 minutes Mrs Medlow returned to her home in Lucks Lane before going to Buckden Village Club on Burberry Road between 9 and 9.30pm, which she left with two bottles of wine in a carrier bag.

Coroner Sam Bass concluded that there was “no evidence” that she had intended to step in front of the car and recorded a verdict of accidental death at Lawrence Court, Huntingdon, on Thursday (May 1).

He said: “I suspect that death would have been almost instantaneous.

“Even if there had been an intensive care unit next door to where she had been hit I think she would have died.

“It seems that Mr Soares was driving in a perfectly reasonable way, I have heard that it would have been difficult for him to have seen Samantha especially as there were cars coming the other way.”

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