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Stoke Ash woman Sonya Colton who died in Thorndon crash wasn't wearing seatbelt, inquest hears

A mother who suffered fatal injuries in a crash was not wearing a seatbelt, did not have a full driving licence and had taken drugs, an inquest has heard.

Sonya Colton, 29, was found beneath a Peugeot 206 which had left Thwaite Road, Thorndon on December 27, 2016.

The inquest today (Monday) at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich heard that Ms Colton, of Roman Way, Stoke Ash was still alive when emergency services reached the scene but died shortly afterwards.

No Caption ABCDE. (6662287)
No Caption ABCDE. (6662287)

A post mortem examination conducted by Home Office pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift concluded that she died as a result of serious spinal injuries.

Tests also revealed traces of drugs taken by Ms Colton including cannabis, ketamine, amphetamines and MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, although specialists said it was not possible to say how recently they had been consumed.

Dr Pam Crispin who attended the scene of the accident, said in a statement that it was unclear how Ms Colton had come to be outside the car. Ms Colton was initially still moving slightly but died while being carried to an ambulance.

Forensic collision investigator Pc Forbes Scott said his investigation found that Ms Colton only had a provisional driving licence, had not been wearing a seatbelt and she may have been in an emotional state after arguing with her partner.

The exact time of the accident was unknown but believed to have been during the hours of darkness, meaning that the possibility of an animal have run across her path could not be entirely excluded.

PC Scott said: "As a provisional licence holder it is likely that Ms Colton was an inexperienced driver.

"It is possible that she may have overreacted to a hazard on the road ahead of her, therefore her lack of experience may have been a contributory factory."

The combination of drugs found to have been taken by Ms Colton may have affected her judgement and ability to control the vehicle, said PC Scott. He said that if she had been wearing a seatbelt her injuries may have been less severe.

No defects which were believed to have contributed to the accident were found with the Peugeot car or the road surface.

The inquest heard in a report from her GP that Ms Colton was being treated for depression and anxiety and was known to have abused diazepam and morphine.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone recorded a conclusion that Ms Colton died as a result of a road traffic collision.