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Ashford mum Laura Dunk died after crashing Vauxhall Astra near Brenzett on Romney Marsh

A young mum from Ashford who died after her car left the road and hit a tree was not wearing a seatbelt, an inquest has heard.

Laura Dunk was thrown from her blue Vauxhall Astra following the crash on the Old Ashford Road near Brenzett on Romney Marsh.

Laura Dunk died following a crash near Brenzett
Laura Dunk died following a crash near Brenzett

A farmer discovered the crash after seeing smoke rising from a tree across the road from his field and called emergency services.

He also flagged down a passing motorist who provided assistance until the ambulance services arrived.

The 29-year-old was airlifted to King's College Hospital in London following the crash on Sunday, August 25 last year, but her condition deteriorated and she died in hospital on Tuesday, October 8.

At the inquest at Maidstone's Archbishop's Palace today, evidence given by the forensic collision investigator said there were no factors outside of driver error that could have contributed to the crash.

PC David Burley said: "There were no contributing defects in the car or road, the weather was fine and the car was not speeding at the time of the crash.

The air ambulance was called to the crash
The air ambulance was called to the crash

"We know the driver received a phone call shortly before the crash was reported, but we can neither confirm nor deny if she was distracted by her phone at the exact moment of the crash.

"Data from the phone could not be fully extracted because it was too badly damaged.

"The most likely cause of the crash was driver error or distraction."

The inquest heard Miss Dunk, of Canterbury Road, was not wearing a seatbelt and was believed to be travelling to pick up her young son and take him to a nearby pride event.

Her son's third birthday was just three days after she died.

"We know the driver received a phone call shortly before the crash was reported..." - PC David Burley

Summarising, assistant coroner Bina Patel said: "Given the evidence provided, I find it satisfactory to provide a cause of death as a road traffic collision.

"I would like to offer my personal condolences to Laura's parents, and for her other family and friends in these deeply tragic circumstances."

A fundraiser set up to raise money for Miss Dunk's funeral costs and to care for her son raised £855 before it ended.

The arcade attendant had previously attended the Christ Church school in Stanhope, now known as the John Wallis Academy.

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