Partner pays tribute to ‘great girlfriend and mother’ at inquest into death of care worker

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 15 October 2020

The crash happened on the A134 at Shouldham Thorpe, near Downham Market  Picture: Sarah Hussain

The crash happened on the A134 at Shouldham Thorpe, near Downham Market Picture: Sarah Hussain


The partner of a care worker who died after her car collided with a tree has paid tribute to “a great girlfriend and mother”.

Hannah Akers, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened on the A134 at Shouldham Thorpe, near Downham Market, on February 9.

An inquest into her death held on Wednesday heard Ms Akers was returning to her home in Southgate Street, King’s Lynn, after finishing a shift, when her Ford Focus left the road at 9.50pm and caught fire.

Her partner Graham Binnion said in a statement he had last heard from her via a message on WhatsApp at around 7.30pm.

Engineer Mr Binnion, who met Ms Akers in 2015 and moved in with her the following year, added: “We had a great time living together, we were very happy.”

He said Ms Akers, who had given birth to their daughter in 2016, was “a great girlfriend and mother” and he had “hundreds of happy memories of their time together.”

A post mortem gave the cause of her death as a traumatic head injury suffered in the crash, with multiple sclerosis a contributory factor.

The court was told a toxicology test revealed Ms Akers had no trace of alcohol in her blood at the time she died.

In a statement, collision investigator PC Jamie Hutchins said no other vehicle was involved and there were no witnesses to the crash.

He added he could find no reason why Ms Akers’s Ford Focus had left the road, but said a distraction inside or outside of the vehicle could not be ruled out.

In her summing up, senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said she did not accept Ms Akers’s multiple sclerosis contributed to her death.

The court had earlier heard that she had sometimes suffered weakness in her right leg and had been “wobbly” on her feet during the previous December.

But the coroner said there was no evidence that Ms Akers had been having a bad day prior to the crash, or that her condition had affected her driving.

Mrs Lake said deer had been seen running across the stretch of road where the crash occurred and offered “a more likely explanation”.

She concluded Ms Akers died as a result of a road traffic collision and her death was caused by the traumatic head injury that she suffered.

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