Tent woman’s death accident

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A WOMAN killed crossing a busy Fenland road was living in a tent at the time of her death an inquest heard.

Jolanta Baciuliene (43) was hit by a Fiat Punto as she crossed the A47 to reach the makeshift encampment, where she was living with her partner Rytis Banys, close to Halfpenny Lane in Wisbech.

The hearing heard the couple were returning home in the dark and were both wearing dark clothing and that Mr Banys was drunk at the time of the accident on January 29.

Punto driver Fiona Donovan, who was returning to Leicester after spending the weekend with friends in Heacham, had no chance of seeing Ms Baciuliene in time to avoid hitting her the hearing at Wisbech heard on Wednesday.

Miss Donovan described how she caught a flash of something in the roadway moments before she hit Ms Baciuliene sending her flying and had slammed on the brakes.

In a statement read out Mr Banys described waiting for several cars to pass before saying “let’s go” and leading the way across the road.

But before reaching the other side he heard a loud bang and turned round to see Ms Baciuliene lying in the road.

Initially she had tried to stand and asked him to find her shoe, which had come off during the impact.

However, she died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn later that same evening. A post mortem showed she died from traumatic chest injuries.

Police crash investigators carried out thorough tests following the accident including having an officer dressed in similar dark clothing standing on the roadway near the impact site at night time.

Pc Steven Edwards said even knowing the officer was on the road it was difficult for the driver to pick him out dressed in dark clothing in the darkness.

Consequently he concluded it would have been extremely difficult for Miss Donovan to detect the pedestrian in time to react and avoid a collision.

Pc Edwards said it was impossible to know why Ms Baciuliene crossed the road with a car coming although it is likely she simply followed Mr Banys without looking herself.

In his statement Mr Banys said Ms Baciuliene, who had not been drinking, often failed to pay attention to potential danger.

Coroner William Morris, who expressed his condolences to the family, recorded a verdict of accidental death.