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Ketamine suspected as factor in death of care worker Hannah Bennett in Great Ellingham crash

Floral tributes at the scene of a fatal crash on Dulls Lane, Ellingham, Norfolk. Picture: Nick Butcher

Floral tributes at the scene of a fatal crash on Dulls Lane, Ellingham, Norfolk. Picture: Nick Butcher

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A 26-year-old care worker from Diss who was found to be 28 times the ketamine limit after crashing her new car into a tree died a day later at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge.

Floral tributes at the scene of a fatal crash on Dulls Lane, Ellingham, Norfolk. Floral tributes at the scene of a fatal crash on Dulls Lane, Ellingham, Norfolk.

Her boyfriend, Greg Jacques, was the front seat passenger at the time of the collision on March 4 on Dulls Lane, Great Ellingham, and sustained life changing injuries, Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard.

The inquest into the death of Hannah Bennett, born in Norwich, heard she had been a “known ketamine user” and a wrap of ketamine was found on her after the collision, when her Renault Clio collided with a tree around 9.35pm.

But because paramedics had administered a quantity of the drug, collision investigators were unable to confirm if it was a factor in the tragedy.

“There is no concrete evidence to prove ketamine was a factor in the collision but there is enough evidence to suspect it,” the collision investigation report stated.

The court heard there were no witnesses to the collision, and the severity of Mr Jacques’ injuries meant police have been unable to interview him.

“Her family made the decision to donate some of her organs for transplantation,” said area coroner Yvonne Blake. “Toxicology detected both cannabis and ketamine in Hannah’s blood stream, but that was taken following medical intervention.”

The collision investigation report, from Sgt Andy Hood and PC Paul McKay said: “It is known Hannah had abstained from driving for several months following an insurance incident from a previous vehicle. She only had the car she was driving since February 24, and it is possible she was still familiarising herself with it.

“She was a known ketamine user and what was believed to be a wrap of ketamine was found on her person at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital.
“The ketamine level was 28 times the specified level for the drug. 125mg was administered before taking her to hospital so it is possible the level detected was wholly the result of ketamine administered medically.”

The court also heard two passers by, including 16-year-old moped rider Ben Thurtell, stopped at the scene and tried to free Miss Bennett. Ms Blake recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision.

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