A mother-of-four killed when she was hit by a lorry as she walked along the A690 was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
Kelly Bennett, 36, was hit by a wagon as she walked along the inside lane of the westbound dual carriageway at Rainton Gate, at round 2.30am on May 9.
Ms Bennett had been at an address in West Rainton after an evening with her friend and partner but had left to return home to Stockton after a disagreement.
An inquest into her death heard she was hit by the lorry about three-quarters of a mile from her partner’s home.
Pc Paul Harris, of Cleveland and Durham collision investigation unit, told the inquest: “There were no street lights on the stretch of road where the accident occurred and the weather was bad that night.
“It was misty and foggy which combined with the lack of light made it very difficult to see.“
Pc Harris said the driver, who had observed the road’s 50mph speed limit, would not have expected to see someone on the road at that time and that Ms Bennett’s dark clothing would have made her even more difficult to see.
Coroner Andrew Tweddle returned a verdict of death by road traffic collision and said it was a tragic accident.
He said: “I don’t think the lorry driver could have done anything to stop this happening.
“Kelly was clearly upset that night and probably wasn’t thinking straight, as we all are sometimes when highly emotional. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This almost seems to trivialise it and I don’t mean to do that at all. It was an accidental death and there is nothing I can do to take it away.”