Pregnant mum and child killed by 'abhorrent' speeding driver

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Anna Kirsopp-LewisImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Anna Kirsopp-Lewis was nine months pregnant with her second child and on the way to see a midwife

A heavily pregnant woman was killed weeks before she was due to give birth when her car was hit by a driver who lost control at more than 100mph.

Anna Kirsopp-Lewis, 34, suffered multiple injuries in the crash on the A36 near Warminster, Wiltshire, on 18 December, an inquest heard.

The driver of the other car Ian Barton, 62, died in hospital five days later.

Wiltshire coroner David Ridley said Mr Barton's driving had been "aggressive, audacious and quite frankly abhorrent".

Mrs Kirsopp-Lewis was nine months pregnant with her second child, a boy named Oscar, when the crash happened on Black Dog Hill, near Warminster.

She was driving to a midwife appointment when her Peugeot 208 was struck from behind by a 4x4 Porsche Cayenne.

The teacher, from Warminster, was thrown from her vehicle by the impact.

Media caption,

Dashcam footage shows Mr Barton's Porsche overtaking a lorry at high speed

'Black blur'

The inquest heard collision investigators estimated Mr Barton, who ran a pub in Combe Hay, near Bath, was driving in excess of 100mph on the road which had a 60mph speed limit.

Witness statements said it was raining and conditions were poor.

Dashcam footage, provided by lorry driver Paul Cloak, showed Mr Barton's car overtaking his vehicle at high speed.

He told the hearing in Salisbury he saw a "black blur" when the Porsche passed him "like a rocket".

Sgt Joseph Sample, of Avon and Somerset Police, said a colleague who attended the scene believed Mr Barton "lost control" and his car "fishtailed" before impact.

The coroner said both drivers died of multiple injuries and recorded a verdict of unlawful killing for Mrs Kirsopp-Lewis.

He ruled Mr Barton died as a result of a road traffic collision.

He said the manner in which Mr Barton drove at "excessive speed" in "appalling conditions" had "demonstrated indifference to the lives of Anna and other road users".

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Anna Kirsopp-Lewis died from multiple injuries after being thrown from her car

Paying tribute to his wife, Chris Lewis said she was a devoted teacher and mother to their young son, Henry.

"Anna was my wife, my best friend and my future, she was kind and compassionate, funny and clever, the reason I was happy.

"She didn't want Henry to be an only child and Oscar was that baby, he was planned for, loved, and much anticipated."

Caroline Kirsopp said her daughter was "a wonderful, wonderful person".

"There aren't any words to describe the emptiness, the space that isn't filled by Anna," she said.

She said she struggled with the fact that there was no formal recognition of her unborn grandson, who was cremated with his mother.

"Oscar had a right to be born, he had a right to live. That was taken away from him," she said.