Death-crash woman not wearing seatbelt

PUBLISHED: 10:31 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

A HAPPY young woman with a bright future wasn t wearing a seatbelt when she crashed her car on a dual-carriageway earlier this year. Sabrina Verona, aged 20, who was living in St Albans at the time of her death, died at around midday on July 17 when she l

A HAPPY young woman with a bright future wasn't wearing a seatbelt when she crashed her car on a dual-carriageway earlier this year.

Sabrina Verona, aged 20, who was living in St Albans at the time of her death, died at around midday on July 17 when she lost control of her black Ford Ka along the London Colney bypass and hit the central reservation before overturning and striking a tree.

An inquest last week heard that there was a possibility that she could have been texting before the crash which happened as she was travelling on the southbound carriageway on her way to meet a friend before starting work in Mill Hill where she was a hairdresser.

A post-mortem revealed the cause of death to be traumatic external and internal injuries to her neck and head which would have caused her to die instantly.

Pc Grant Duke was on his way to another incident in St Albans and came across the accident on his way. He found Ms Verona trapped in the car and failed to find her pulse.

Ambulance crews also couldn't find any sign of life and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Crash investigator Pc John Kemp said there were no faults with the car which was estimated to be travelling at between 67mph and 81mph at the time of the accident.

Evidence showed Ms Verona had failed to wear her seatbelt as it was retracted but Pc Kemp could not say how she came to lose control of her car, although an undulation on the bridge over Lowbell Lane could have potentially unsettled the vehicle.

He also said he could not rule out the possibility that she had swerved to avoid another vehicle but no witnesses had come forward following the accident.

Her father Chaim said during the inquest: "I'm extremely disappointed to hear that my daughter had probably not been wearing a seatbelt and I am very surprised."

But he questioned whether it would have saved her life as most of the damage impact occurred on the passenger's side of the car.

Ms Verona grew up with her two brothers in Bushey Heath and after leaving school, trained as a professional hair colourist. She had a boyfriend in the Army to whom she had planned to get engaged.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Herts Coroner Edward Thomas said: "She was a very talented person. She was talented in her work and also very much loved and cared for by many people. She was very much enjoying life - she was planning to get engaged and was very, very happy."

He raised concerns that she was texting on her mobile phone during the car journey and said: "This vehicle was totally out of control and we will never really know what caused it."

He added: "It is such a tragedy that this happened and it's such a tragedy that we have established that her seatbelt wasn't on and it is such a tragedy that she lost her life.

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