A MOTHER of two could have been reaching into the back seat of her car just moments before she was involved in a head on crash.

An inquest was held at Welshpool Magistrates Court last Friday, April 6, into the death of Julie Marie Smith, 36 from Trefeglwys.

She died at the scene of the collision that happened at the Penstrowed bridge, on the A489 between Caersws and Newtown on Thursday, November 9.

The crash happened as she drove home from Newtown after having taken her son there for swimming lessons.

A post-mortem at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital found that Mrs Smith had suffered extensive fractures to the rib, sternum and pelvic bones, tears to her liver and spleen and a fracture at the base of the skull.

Coroner Andrew Barkley reading the post -mortem report concluded that the she could not have survived the injuries.

On that evening Nicholas Robert Barkley (no relation to the coroner) was driving home from his work in Machynlleth in his Vauxhall Vectra.

At Penstrowed Bridge he came face to face with Mrs Smith driving her Ford Focus in the opposite direction.

At the inquest his statement was read out: "I saw the vehicle on my side of the road and I chucked it (his car) to the right and she must have done that at the same time.

"If she had stayed where she was we may have been able to pass.

"It was either go left or right or take a wall on."

Drivers who arrived on the scene soon afterwards contacted the emergency services and found Mrs Smith son still sitting in the back seat.

He was lifted out of the car and comforted.

A crash scene report by PC Gary Rees said that Mrs Smith's body had been found in a position that suggested that she was reaching in to the back of the vehicle, with her right arm.

He added that there were no scuff or skid marks to see from before the collision, which meant the drivers had very little time to react to the unfolding situation

The Ford Focus was 0.95m in to the Newtown bound lane .

This meant that Mrs Smith had crossed in to the opposite lane.

When asked by Coroner Andrew Berkley, Sergeant Gareth Earp, who led the investigation, said: "It's highly likely that she's turned to the back to comfort the child or pick something.

"Unfortunately another car was coming a the same time.

"It's very unlikely that she would have been thrown around and then found in this position."

Coroner Andrew Barkley concluded that the cause of death was a Road Traffic Collision.