A compter engineer for a Luton firm who died instantly on the A505 near Hitchin after losing control of her car would have known very little about the crash that killed her, an inquest heard on Wednesday.
Tara Kitson was on the dual carriageway on the afternoon of a rainy Valentine’s Day when her blue Ford Fiesta collided with a parked Mercedes Sprinter van in which a man was sleeping.
Coroner Edward Thomas told the hearing that the 28-year-old died from massive brain injuries.
Miss Kitson, of South Road, Baldock, had tried to move to the inside lane of the dual carriageway as she headed towards Hitchin, but veered off the road and crashed into the back of the van, which was parked in a layby near the turning for Offley.
The van driver, a 25-year-old man, had been sleeping across the front seats, and escaped with minor injuries.
Collision investigator PC Robert Jackson said that the Fiesta’s rear tyres were underinflated by around 23-33 per cent more than normal, which would have made a ‘significant difference’ to her control of the car.
Combined with her high, but legal, speed of around 70mph and the water on the road after heavy downpours, PC Jackson concluded that there ‘was nothing she could do’ when she lost control of the car and that “it is very unlikely she would have had a full realisation of what happened.”
Paul Fuller who was overtaken by Miss Kitson moments before her fatal crash said that the weather was “awful” but he had “not given it a second thought” when she drove past.
Recording an accidental verdict, Mr Thomas said: “What a tragedy it is. Tara was a very promising young lady who was highly intelligent, had done incredibly well and was very well respected.
“It is such a tragedy because a special person is not here, but the family will have very happy memories of her.”
Miss Kitson was working as a computer engineer at Luton-based company SELEX, where she was being sponsored to study a Masters degree at University College London after graduating with a first class honours degree.