No streetlights in road where pedestrian died, inquest told

The scene in Turnells Mill Road, Wellingborough, where Daria Pikus was killed
The scene in Turnells Mill Road, Wellingborough, where Daria Pikus was killed

A woman was killed as she crossed a road which had its streetlights switched off two years previously, an inquest was told.

Daria Pikus, 22, a Polish student living in Spencer Road, Wellingborough, after being in the UK for about a month, was hit by a car in Turnells Mill Lane, Wellingborough, shortly after 10pm on March 28 last year – seconds after she had been dropped off by a friend after finishing a shift at work.

An inquest was held today (Thursday, April 24) at Kettering Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard from witness Caroline Carr, who saw Daria being dropped off in Turnells Mill Lane.

She said she saw Daria walk around the back of the car and begin to cross the road.

In a statement, she added: “I saw the illumination of some car headlights coming around the bend. I immediately knew the person would not have time to get across the road. I knew what was going to happen and I don’t think the car driver would have seen the pedestrian.”

Daria was struck by the oncoming vehicle and thrown into a lamp post.

In a statement read aloud at the inquest, pathologist Dr Michael Biggs said Daria would have been killed almost immediately.

The driver of the vehicle which struck Daria, Cory Tomkins said he had been driving to the nearby Tesco supermarket.

He told the inquest: “The speed limit along that road is 60mph but I was driving at about 40 to 50mph.

“There is a slight right hand bend and an alleyway to the left. I passed a car on the opposite side of the road.

“Just as I passed the car she was there, a black silhouette. There was a bang and the windscreen smashed.”

Several passers-by stopped to help at the scene, but Daria had been killed almost immediately.

PC Nathan Gallon, collision investigator, told the inquest that street lights had been switched off in Turnells Mill Road in June 2011.

He added: “Visibility is limited by the range of lights on vehicles.

“My conclusion was that this was an error on the part of the pedestrian, who was crossing without taking reasonable care.”

Coroner Anne Pember said there was nothing Mr Tomkins could have done to avoid the tragedy and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

In a statement, Daria’s mother Monica, who was from a town called Tarnów in Poland, said her daughter was studying English in Poland and had visited the UK a few times to work and improve her English.