M20 tragedy af­ter driver lost con­trol

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE -

A YOUNG wo­man died on her way to work in Ash­ford when she drove her car into the mo­tor­way crash bar­rier af­ter mo­men­tar­ily los­ing con­trol of the steer­ing, an inquest heard.

Kirstie Booker, 26, of Car­na­tion Road, Strood, died on De­cem­ber 10 last year, five days af­ter the freak ac­ci­dent on the M20 at Len­ham, near Maid­stone.

The inquest into her death at Maid­stone’s County Hall on Fri­day heard that Miss Booker had been driv­ing to her job as a gen­eral man­ager in Ash­ford with her boyfriend Michael Brown when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened at just af­ter 9am.

Mr Brown said she had been driv­ing along the M20 when there sud­denly seemed to be no steer­ing in the car.

When she tried to turn the wheel to the left, the car did not re­spond and con­tin­ued driv­ing for­ward. It then re­turned, with the car veer­ing off so sharply to the left, it cut across all three lanes and ploughed into the bar­rier.

Miss Booker had been keep­ing to the speed limit, as he was a ner­vous pas­sen­ger, but the road had been wet and they were trav­el­ling in the fast lane to avoid the spray from a lorry, he said.

PC Damian Mutch, foren­sic col­li­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tor, said no de­fects were found on the car and it was pos­si­ble the wet sur­face of the road and stand­ing wa­ter could have given Miss Booker the feel­ing that the steer­ing was not work­ing.

Miss Booker suf­fered se­vere head in­juries and died at King’s Col­lege Hospi­tal, Lon­don.

Mid Kent and Med­way coro­ner Roger Sykes recorded a ver­dict of ac­ci­den­tal death.

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