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Herne Bay, crash victim Tracy Morgan who drove into tree had sleeping disorder

A woman who died when her car careered into a sheep field may have fallen asleep at the wheel, an inquest has heard.

Tracy Morgan, 31, was killed instantly when her VW Golf hit a tree and fence in Bullockstone Road, Greenhill, on April 21.

The carer, who worked at the Laleham in Central Parade, Herne Bay, was diagnosed with sleep apnoea in 2012 and regularly fell asleep during conversations.

Tracy Morgan was killed in a crash in Bullockstone Road
Tracy Morgan was killed in a crash in Bullockstone Road

Her mum, Patricia Irechukwu, told the inquest at Canterbury Coroners’ Court how she worried about her daughter.

She said: “I had this feeling I would bury her one day, but this was down to her weight. I never imagined it this way.

“She felt she was healthy, but she was severely overweight and she kept falling asleep – she kept nodding off in conversations.

“We all put it down to the night-shift she was doing at the care home, but last year she started day shifts.

“The sleeping behaviour should have changed but that didn’t happen.”

The court was told how Miss Morgan had left her flat in Warwick Road, Canterbury, to get to work in Herne Bay at 7am.

Flowers at the crash scene in Bullockstone Road
Flowers at the crash scene in Bullockstone Road

It heard how teacher Jackie Cooper saw Miss Morgan’s car leave the road at about 6.45am.

Mrs Cooper said: “I was following Tracy’s car, about four or five lengths behind, and the driving appeared to be normal.

“It was very unexplained. There was no sun in my eyes and it was just a normal day.

“It was like somebody pulling over to stop at the side of the road. It was really gentle and smooth.”

Coroner Alan Blunsden said Miss Morgan, who regularly stayed with her family in Seasalter, suffered a catastrophic head injury in the accident and died instantly.

The pathologist listed sleep apnoea as a contributory factor.

Tributes at the scene. Picture: Tony Flashman
Tributes at the scene. Picture: Tony Flashman

But Mr Blunsden said: “The evidence to some extent is against her falling asleep at the wheel because when the car hit the kerb on the other side it would have woken her.

“The reason for Tracy leaving the road may perhaps never been known, but it was as a result of something that happened in the car.

“You may think it is more likely to have been a medical incident, or you may think it was sleep apnoea, but I cannot give you the answer.

“Medical science only goes so far and the pathologist cannot give an answer.

“Whatever the reason, she was currently not in control of that vehicle.”

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