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Death of Hannah Coan ruled an accident by inquest after walking into path of car

Hannah Coan
Hannah Coan

A crash which cost the life of a popular teenager was “unavoidable”, an inquest has ruled.

Hannah Coan, 18, of North Street, Dartford, died in hospital five days after she was hit by a Mercedes while crossing Heath Street.

The inquest heard that the former Wilmington Academy student died from head injuries on September 12.

Her friend Nikki Waterman was with her and in a statement, read out by coroner Roger Hatch, she described how they had both planned to go to Sainsbury’s to get drinks and then to McDonald’s.

The pair were approached by a boy as they made their way along North Street, who asked Hannah to buy him some cigarettes.

Hannah knew the boy and turned to head back towards the Circle C shop on Heath Street.

Miss Waterman said when she reached the road, she looked right but not left.

She became aware of a car coming from her left, and added: “She tried to run faster and jumped into the path of another car.”

The Mercedes driver, Michael Robinson, of Oakfield Lane, Wilmington, admitted to having one pint of beer that day but was below the drink-drive limit, the inquest heard.

He was said to be driving carefully in the centre of the road, as along the kerb were parked cars.

The scene on Heath Street, at the junction with Phoenix Place
The scene on Heath Street, at the junction with Phoenix Place

He said “one or two seconds” after he flipped his visor down because of the low sun a body hit the windscreen.

Said to be shocked and devastated, Mr Robinson pulled over and went to see what had happened.

Tributes left in Central Park, Dartford.
Tributes left in Central Park, Dartford.

Police were able to view CCTV footage which showed Hannah running across the road, directly into the path of the car.

She was thrown into the air and landed at the junction with Phoenix Place suffering serious head injuries.

Police said Hannah being hit by the car was “unavoidable” and Mr Robinson was driving at the speed limit.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Hatch concluded: “There was no time for Mr Robinson to react and it appears Hannah did not look before she crossed the road and ran into the path of Mr Robinson’s car.”

Speaking afterwards, Hannah’s mum Sharon said she still had questions and would need time for what had happened to sink in.

At the time of her death, the mother-of-five said: “She was a loveable rogue. She had a hard exterior but was really soft on the inside.

"She was a very helpful person to her family and friends – any problems, she’d want to sort them out, in any way she could.

“She had a wicked sense of humour and was very loving.”

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