Woman staggered into the path of on-coming traffic inquest hears

A47

A47 - Credit: Archant

Homeless Wisbech woman Anita Raikstina was more than three times over the drink drive limit when she staggered across the busy A47 into the path of on-coming traffic.

The 48-year-old, of no fixed abode, died of multiple injuries after being struck by Mark and Claire Richardson’s VW Touran at around 9.15pm on August 22 last year.

Mr Richardson, of Wisbech, told an inquest how his wife had shouted a warning moments before he noticed a “black shadow” in front of him. There was then a loud impact on the bonnet and his windscreen smashed showering him and his wife with glass.

He told the hearing at the South Fens Business Centre, Chatteris on Wednesday that his first reaction was “what have I hit”. He looked in his mirror and saw the body of Ms Raikstina lying in the road.

As a trained first aider he had gone to see if he could help while his wife called the emergency services but it was obvious there was nothing he could do.


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Fellow motorist Samantha Lyddiate, also of Wisbech, had spotted a figure dressed in dark clothing a short while earlier as she drove from the Elme Hall roundabout to Tesco.

She was unable to tell whether it had been a man or a woman because it was so dark and there are no street lights along that stretch of road, but she said the person was walking with their back to the traffic towards the Tesco roundabout.

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Mykolas Kantoravicius, who had been drinking with Ms Raikstina most of the day, said in a statement read out that he had woken in a ditch to see blue flashing lights ahead. Police officers had come to him and he could see his friend’s body in the road.

Burger van owner Colin Smith, in a statement also read out, told how he had spotted a man and woman, who were obviously drunk walking along the side of the road earlier in the day. They were staggering and the woman appeared to be more drunk than the man.

PC Wayne Softley, who carried out an accident investigation said Ms Raikstina had walked out across the road but it was difficult to know whether she had simply misjudged the speed of Mr Richardson’s car or its proximity, but he had no doubt the high level of alcohol she had drunk had significantly contributed to the collision.

Coroner William Morris concluded Ms Raikstina died as the result of a road traffic collision.

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