Pregnant teacher and unborn son unlawfully killed in ‘abhorrent’ 100mph crash

A pregnant teacher and her unborn son were killed when a Porsche SUV smashed into her car after overtaking a number of vehicles at more than 112mph, an inquest has head.

Anna Kirsopp-Lewis was heading to a midwife appointment ahead of the birth of her second child when the collision happened on the A36 at Black Dog Hill, near Warminster, Wiltshire, on 18 December last year.

The 34-year-old died at the scene and the driver of the 4.8 litre V8 Porsche Cayenne GTS, pub owner Ian Barton, 62, died five days later in hospital.

His driving was described as “aggressive, audacious and quite frankly abhorrent” by coroner David Ridley, who said he considered it “exceptionally bad” enough for him to record that Mrs Kirsopp-Lewis had been unlawfully killed.

Among the witnesses to give evidence at the inquest was teacher David Woods, who was overtaken by Mr Barton.

He said: “I can’t put an estimate on speed, it didn’t take any time to pass me, it felt like it went by like a rocket.”

Gasps were heard from the public gallery as dashcam footage of the Porsche passing traffic was shown.

Dean Beaumont, a reconstruction specialist from the Transport Research Laboratory, said it showed the Porsche was driving at between 112mph and 148mph before crashing at more than 100mph.

Conditions were already treacherous because of rain, and the Porsche had crossed over double-white lines as it overtook vehicles on the brow of a hill and in the bend of the road.

Temporary Sergeant Joseph Sample, of Avon and Somerset Police, said it was a “prolonged poor piece of driving” that resulted in Mr Barton crashing into the back of the Peugeot 2008, which was travelling in the same direction.

Mr Ridley said the father-of-three, who ran the Wheatsheaf pub in Coombe Hay for 27 years, had “no excuse” to be driving at such speeds, as he ruled that he had died from a road traffic collision.

The coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing for Mrs Kirsopp-Lewis, whose widower Christopher Lewis described her as a devoted teacher and mother to their young son Henry.

Fighting back tears, he told the court: “Anna was my wife, my best friend and my future, she was kind and compassionate, funny and clever, the reason I was happy.”

He said she was excited at the imminent arrival of their second son, whom they planned to call Oscar, adding: “She didn’t want Henry to be an only child and Oscar was that baby. He was planned for, loved, and much anticipated.”

Mr Barton was driving to pick up some chicken feed at the time of the crash, according to his widower Adele.

She told the court he was a “good, kind man” who “does drive fast but not erratically and never took risks”.

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