Tragedy of mother-of-five killed when car hit a tree

Hatfield Coroner's Court

Hatfield Coroner's Court - Credit: Archant

A St Albans mother-of-five died accidentally after her car hit a tree, a coroner ruled yesterday.

Christine Kielkowski, of Cairns Close, was killed instantly from multiple traumatic injuries on November 24 last year after losing control of her car on the A1 Barnet bypass in Borehamwood.

An inquest held yesterday heard that the 51-year-old had been heading to work after a meal out with a friend, during which they shared a bottle of wine over pizza and salad.

Herts coroner, Mr Edward Thoma, said toxicology reports revealed Christine was twice over the drink driving limit.

Mr Kinalan, a witness to the accident, described seeing Christine’s car suddenly pull out to the left and then spin across the bypass. His friend in the passenger seat called an ambulance.

Pc Ian Marsh, a forensic collision investigator for Herts police, told the coroner the grandmother-of-four was thought to be travelling at 62mph at least and steered hard to the left for reasons unknown.

He added: “There are certain questions you can never answer.”

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He said there was no indication that the brakes had been applied prior to the crash and nothing to suggest another car had been involved.

A family member at the inquest asked whether it would have made a difference had there been barriers on the side of the road which might have stopped her hitting the trees.

But Pc Marsh said fatalities could occur in crashes where there were barriers for vehicles to hit.

Summarising, Mr Thomas said he suspected Christine, whom he described as a hard-working carer, was a bit late and unfortunately for some reason felt the need to steer hard.

He went on: “I think perhaps alcohol affected her judgement in the perception of what she needed to do.

“It’s very important that you don’t drink; she would never have deliberately gone out to but it does happen. It’s really sad because she obviously was such a lovely lady.