Law student in pyjamas ran over grandmother delivering Christmas cards, Canterbury inquest hears
LAW student Tahira Khan was wearing pyjamas when the car she was driving skidded and killed a grandmother, an inquest heard.
Elizabeth Tanner, a 64-year-old university administration assistant from Broadoak, Canterbury, had been delivering Christmas cards when the car lost control and ploughed into her.
The impact smashed the car's windscreen and threw Mrs Tanner into the air.
The inquest on Thursday heard that Mrs Tanner, a divorcee, was getting out of her car in The Terrace, Canterbury, to deliver a card to a friend when she was hit by a Vauxhall Corsa driven by Miss Khan, 21.
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Raluca Quinney, who was parked nearby, saw the accident.
She said: "I saw the car skidding towards me at an angle and thought it was going to hit me.
"I heard the screeching sound of the tyres and panicked so I slammed both my hands on the steering wheel horn to signal to the driver that I was there.
"Then I saw a body fly up in the air and then come back down."
Mrs Quinney, whose children were in the car, ran across the road and shouted at Miss Khan, who emerged wearing pyjama bottoms and slippers.
She said: "I don't know if she realised she had hit somebody. She seemed quite offended that I was shouting at her. When I told her what she had done she just said: 'Oh my god'.
"I couldn't see any reason why she lost control. In my opinion she was not paying attention because her music was pumping away. I had to get her to turn it down so I could hear what the 999 operator was saying."
Mrs Quinney called an ambulance and stayed with Mrs Tanner until it arrived. She said: "I know Mrs Tanner was breathing because it was cold and I could see the steam coming from her mouth.
"Then she gave two deep breaths and became still. It was no more than a minute before the ambulance turned up."
The accident happened at 4.30pm on Friday, December 17, 2010.
Miss Khan, 21, of Downs Road, Canterbury was cleared of dangerous or careless driving by Canterbury Crown Court in November last year but was banned for a year after she admitted causing death while driving without insurance.
She had borrowed the car, which belonged to her flatmate's father, to drive to a shop to buy a sandwich.
Robert Giles, a forensic collision investigator with Kent Police, told the inquest two of the Corsa's tyres were bald.
But he said that was unlikely to have contributed to the collision.
He said there was no evidence Miss Khan had been speeding or that there was ice on the road.
But he said it was possible freezing weather had caused the windscreen to fog up and restrict Miss Khan's visibility.
The inquest also heard that Mrs Tanner had been wearing dark clothing and may have been wearing a hood which would have made her difficult to see. Coroner Rebecca Cobb said it was likely Miss Khan had not seen Mrs Tanner before the impact.