Hampshire & Isle of Wight

German tourist knock-down motorway death 'accidental'

A German tourist who was knocked down on a Hampshire motorway after wandering off from her coach party died accidentally, a coroner has recorded.

Sigrid Schmitz, 79, from Remscheid, Germany, was with a group of tourists on a coach which had pulled into Fleet services on the M3 on 22 March.

Police found no explanation of why she would be walking across the motorway.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, North Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley said the death was strange.

He said Mrs Schmitz had had a brain atrophy which could have caused some confusion, but added that was only anecdotal.

'Russian roulette'

The driver of the silver VW Passat which struck Mrs Schmitz, Jamie Healy, 22, of Basingstoke, had not seen her, the inquest heard.

There was no way he could have avoided the collision and she suffered massive injuries and died at the scene, the inquest was told.

Another driver, Christopher Savage, saw Mrs Schmitz on the southbound carriageway moments before the accident.

He said he had seen someone "sprightly" walking across the carriageway and she was in the middle lane.

"This person was walking straight ahead. It's best to describe it as someone playing Russian roulette with the traffic," he said in a statement.

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