‘Nothing more’ driver could do after hitting pensioner in Yatton, an inquest heard

Yatton High Street.

Yatton High Street. - Credit: Archant

A mother died after being hit by a car while crossing a busy road.

Flax Bourton Coroners' Court.

Flax Bourton Coroners' Court. - Credit: Archant

Widow Molly Hull, aged 78, was struck by a car being driven by Terry Hancock along Yatton High Street on a ‘dark and wet’ evening.

Avon Coroner’s Court heard on March 28 Mr Hancock had been driving along the main road towards Clevedon at about 5pm on December 14 when he ‘heard a bang’ and ‘saw a shadow go past his window’.

He said: “I got out of my car and saw an elderly lady lying on the floor and I realised I had hit her.

“I was a mess and very shocked. I did not understand how I did not see her.”

Police carried out a drink and drug test on Mr Hancock, both of which were negative.

Mrs Hull, who lived in Yatton, suffered a fracture to her left leg and cracked ribs and was rushed to hospital where she had emergency surgery. But she contracted pneumonia and died seven days later.

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The accident happened outside Scoop & Spice near the Elborough Avenue junction.

Shop owner Emdad Uddin told the court Mrs Hull often walked into the road without checking and says drivers have been forced to swerve or stop to avoid her in the past.

Robert Grace, who was driving in the opposite direction to Mr Hancock, saw ‘something white’ – now known to be her handbag – which caught his attention and he stopped his car.

He said: “I saw the person step back as if surprised to see my car and they stepped into the path of oncoming traffic.

“On impact the lady was thrown into the air and landed in the road in front of my car.”

Police Constable Joseph Sample reviewed CCTV footage and told the court there was ‘nothing more Mr Hancock could do’ to avoid Mrs Hull.

She was wearing dark clothing at the time and PC Sample said the CCTV showed light from car headlights and shops had caused a glare on the road which made it ‘very difficult’ for Mrs Hull to be seen.

He explained to the court Mr Grace had the contrast of Mrs Hull’s white handbag, which she clutched to her left side, but Mr Hancock did not.

Assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing concluded Mrs Hull died from pneumonia due to her multiple injuries sustained in a road traffic collision.