Woman died from injuries five years after car accident

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A YOUNG woman who was knocked down by a car died from her injuries more than five years later.

Kelly Hutchinson, 23, died in the Hawthorne Nursing Home in Peterlee on December 29 last year.

An inquest heard her death was caused by complications from injuries she suffered in a road accident on August 26, 2007.

The hearing at Crook Civic Centre yesterday was told Ms Hutchinson, formerly of South Shields, was knocked down by a Citroen Saxo as she crossed John Reid Road in the town.

Sergeant Mick Soulsby, of Northumbria Police, said: “The accident was near the junction of Perth Road, and the road is quite wide at that point.

“There is a bus stop, a crawler lane from the bus stop, and two carriageways.

“Our inquiries indicated the Saxo may have been moving from lane two to lane one when the impact happened.”

Sgt Soulsby said the driver of the car – who has since died – told police she had not had time to react, and an investigation revealed she was travelling well within the then 50mph speed limit, which is now 40mph.

“Consideration was given to prosecuting her, but there are two sides to be balanced,” added Sgt Soulsby. “The pedestrian was there for her to see, but so was her car there to see for the pedestrian.

“No prosecution was made, not least because the driver became severely ill and died not long afterwards.

“Ms Hutchinson had been drinking vodka that night, and had argued with a friend, so she may have been distracted.”

A post-mortem examination found Ms Hutchinson, who was brain damaged and partly paralysed, died from pneumonia. She was suffering from an untreatable condition which led to the narrowing of her airways.

North Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle said he was satisfied the death was due to complications from injuries sustained in the accident.

Verdict: accidental death