A WOMAN was killed by a “glancing blow” from a lorry after she got out of her car, possibly to check on an unusual noise, an inquest heard.

Barbara Dunbavand, 53, from Christleton, was struck by a heavy goods vehicle on the A55 near Littleton on December 10.

Mrs Dunbavand was a well respected member of the community, working as a chartered accountant and a partner in Hall Livesey Brown. She also volunteered her time to work as the secretary of AFC Waverton.

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Her husband, Dr Andrew Dunbavand, told an inquest in Warrington she had not been sleeping well at the time because of persistent pain in her neck but was otherwise in good health. 

He said the morning she died was “normal” and he had helped load a box of old school uniforms into her car before she left for work so she could take them to a charity.

He told the inquest he did not drive his wife’s car, a gold Toyota Corolla, very often and didn’t know if there was anything wrong with it before the incident. 

Mr Dunbavand said that after he picked up the car from the garage after the crash there was an “obvious noise”, which he discovered was from a piece of bent plastic from the bumper rubbing against the front tyre.

Witness Carl Shelbourne was driving to work in Chester that morning. He described conditions as “terrible” and said there was a lot of spray and rain and it was still dark at that time. He said there was heavy traffic and he noticed a car in the lay-by without any lights on, which he thought was strange as it was only for designated vehicles.

Mr Shelbourne said he saw a woman “focused towards the carriageway”. His first thought was that she “was looking for something in the carriageway” and said he was concerned it might have been a child.

He said he thought “stop love, stop” and he swerved to the right to give a HGV on his inside more room to move across to avoid the woman. 

After executing his manouervre, he heard a noise, but when he looked in his rear view mirror he did not see any traffic stop so assumed everything was fine. 

He rang the police when he got to work and found out the A55 was closed.

The lorry driver, Simon Mumford, said he was driving from Wallasey to Newport with a delivery of chocolate when he joined the A55. He said he saw a car in the lay-by without any lights or hazards on but “at that point couldn’t see the lady”.

Mr Mumford said she then “came around the passenger side and all I could do was try to get out to give her as much space as possible without hitting another vehicle. As you all know that sadly didn’t happen”.

PC Michael Badly, a forensic collision investigator who investigated the collision told the inquest that Mr Mumford would have only seen Mrs Dunbavand “two seconds before the collision”. PC Badly said his investigation was helped by the fact that the lorry had a forward facing camera and recorded the incident.

PC Badly said that collision was a “glancing blow” and the HGV driver had moved over to the right and started to brake before the collision. PC Badly said there was “insufficient time for the HGV driver to avoid the collision”.

The coroner, Nicolas Rheinburg, concluded Mrs Dunbavand died of multiple injuries from a road traffic collision.

In conclusion he said: “Possibly, in some sort of daydream she did not take full attention and just concentrated on getting into the car and wandered in front of the lorry.

“The other possibility was that Mrs Dunbavand deliberately walked into the path of the lorry. It would make no sense. There was nothing which gave anyone a warning that was being contemplated.”