Inquest told of Chippenham jogger's tragic death

Wiltshire Times: The Bridge Centre, Chippenham The Bridge Centre, Chippenham

Driver Alexandra Shields drove into jogger Katy Turner at The Bridge Centre roundabout, Chippenham in November last year because she didn’t see her until it was too late, an inquest was told.

Miss Shields, of Massey Close, Chippenham, was comforted by members of the public and police after the accident on November 16.

She told coroner David Ridley at the hearing in Salisbury yesterday she had only passed her driving test at the first attempt that July.

Katy Turner, 20, of Patterdown Farm, was out running and was attempting to cross the roundabout at the junction with Bath Road.

Witnesses described Ms Turner as a serious runner who seemed “completely in her running zone.”

She was knocked unconscious and taken to Frenchay Hospital, near Bristol, where she died from serious brain injuries on November 23.

At the time of the accident, around 10.20am, several cars were waiting at traffic lights at the roundabout, including a black Vauxhall Viro and a Volkswagen Touran.

Miss Shields was driving home to Pewsham when she came up to the traffic lights in the middle lane between the two cars when Ms Turner appeared in front of her from behind the Vauxhall Viro.

She said: “As I was coming round the corner they were red, and then as I was coming up they went to red, amber and then green.”

Christopher Schild, driver of the Vauxhall, told the court: “The girl appeared to have seen the car at the last second and she was on tip-toes trying to stop.”

PC Stephen Cox, of the tri-force collision investigation unit, said the Citroen would have been travelling between 23 to 29 miles per hour.

He added: “There is no doubt that this was a tragic set of circumstances and it was clear that Katie has to bear some responsibility for her actions.

"She shouldn’t have crossed when she did and she should have considered being hidden from the traffic by the Vauxhall van.

“However Alexandra didn’t recognise the danger presented by the van obstructing her view to the near side and continued in blind faith of a traffic light changing in her favour without ensuring it was safe to proceed." 

Mr Ridley recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Katy’s dad Ben Turner, of Patterdown, Chippenham, said his daughter was a vibrant and energetic person who raised money for many charities and was a committed Christian.

He said: “We all miss Katy and think of her many times a day, and will never forget her.

“Our Christian faith is a great help to us so that we have no bitterness about what has happened or towards the driver of the car.”

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