Mystery why woman’s car drifted across road before she was killed in crash

Norfolk Coroner's Court heard the inquest of Diane Dutton who died following a road traffic collisio

Norfolk Coroner's Court heard the inquest of Diane Dutton who died following a road traffic collision on the A148 at Sculthorpe. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A motorist died from her injuries as a result of a four-vehicle crash, an inquest has been told.

Diane Dutton died from multiple injuries sustained in the incident on the A148 at Sculthorpe on April 8 last year.

An inquest into her death at Norwich Coroner's Court yesterday heard Mrs Dutton had been driving on the road towards Fakenham when her beige Nissan Note drifted into the King's Lynn-bound lane.

The 68-year-old died at the scene.

The drivers of the Ford Kuga, Vauxhall Astra van and Nissan X-Trail involved in the collision all reported seeing the car drifting into the lane and tried to act to avoid the collision.

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Glen Tuck was driving in the Ford behind Mrs Dutton at around 5.10pm on April 8 with his wife and two daughters.

In a written statement, he said he had seen the Nissan Note drift into the opposing lane previously before the accident.

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Mr Tuck said: "I saw the white van move over to its left to try and avoid the collision. I started to slow down. There was going to be a collision between the Nissan Note and the white van. This is going to be head on."

Christopher Schooling, who was driving the white Vauxhall Astra van, was returning from work when he saw the car enter the lane.

His vehicle was hit on the driver's side and sent into a spin, causing it to collide with Mr Tuck's car. His car stopped on the verge on the opposite side of the carriageway.

Mr Schooling said that while his vehicle was spinning he closed his eyes and held his hand up to protect himself from glass. In a statement he said: "I could see the driver slumped forward.

"I wish she had survived so I could take her some flowers and a box of chocolates."

After hitting Mr Schooling's van, Mrs Dutton's car collided with a Nissan X-Trail.

The inquest heard the motorists tried to divert traffic while the emergency services arrived but saw an articulated lorry and two vehicles drive through the scene, spreading debris.

A post-mortem examination said no medical condition could be identified to suggest a cause for the collision. There was no alcohol in her blood or urine and traces of paracetamol and codine, which did not show excessive dosage prior to her death.

Police forensics found no defects with any of the vehicles.

Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, concluded she had died due to her injuries caused by the road traffic collision and extended her sympathy to her family.

She said: "It is not known why her vehicle travelled over the other side of the road.

"I'm satisfied the other drivers in the collision took what action they could in a very short space of time in an attempt to avoid the collision taking place."

She said it was disturbing to hear accounts that vehicles decided to drive through the scene of the accident.

"It's disturbing. Some other vehicles were not patient to find another way round the closure and carried on and drove through the scene.

" I would think it could possibly hinder investigations and could go on to cause further injuries. There is also the loss of witnesses."

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