A CARE worker from Llandrindod Wells was killed after being hit by an oncoming vehicle while walking in the road, an inquest heard.

At the hearing held at Pembrokeshire County Hall, on Thursday, August 29, coroner's officer for Dyfed-Powys Police Jeremy Davies said 25-year-old Vanessa Collins-Smith died at Dredgeman Hill, Haverfordwest, late on February 20, after being hit by a Land Rover.

German-born Miss Collins-Smith had previously suffered depression and self-harmed, but did not like taking tablets.

The care worker, who had moved to Pembrokeshire in 2018, from Llandrindod Wells, where she had spent most of her life, had previously worked at the Eddie Rocks nightclub and in the New Look store before working at The Meadows care home, Johnston.

Miss Collins-Smith, of Keats Grove, Haverfordwest, had left work early that day after a disagreement, drinking two bottles of wine in the village’s Railway pub and buying a bottle of prosecco in the local NISA shop afterwards, the inquest heard.

She later had a lift home from a colleague, drinking two or three glasses of Champagne there, the inquest heard.

About 10.15-10.30pm, Miss Collins-Smith called for a taxi to take her back to the care home, entering the taxi while clutching a bottle of alcohol and refusing to put her seatbelt on.

Following a disagreement with driver Awais Eshan, of Easy Shuttle, Miss Vanessa Collins-Smith, wearing dark clothing, was dropped off at the bottom of the three-lane Dredgeman Hill, and started to walk towards Johnston, clutching the bottle.

In a statement, Mr Eshan said: “I believe she was drunk due to her behaviour, and the fact she was carrying a bottle of alcohol, I felt unsafe due to her behaviour.”

Miss Collins-Smith had asked to be dropped off, swearing at him as she left, Mr Eshan said.

The inquest then heard she was narrowly missed by two cars while walking up the hill on the two-lane side of road, despite there being a footpath on that side.

Miss Collins-Smith had attempted to contact the taxi firm again, later calling a colleague to say she was lost.

At 11pm that night, a Land Rover Defender, driven by Alex Stanger, was driving downhill towards Haverfordwest on the other side of the road, suddenly seeing Miss Collins-Smith, some one metre into the oncoming carriageway, colliding with her.

An ambulance was called, and Miss Collins-Smith was declared to have passed away at 11.16pm.

A post-mortem report by Petya Nadiva stated 25-year-old Miss Collins-Smith died from multiple traumatic injuries sustained in the collision.

No alcohol samples were able to be obtained, the inquest heard.

Forensic collision investigator for Dyfed-Powys Police Aled Thomas said Miss Collins-Smith was walking on the far carriageway, on the same side as the Land Rover, when it collided with her.

A later examination found no defects with the vehicle or the roadway, and a reconstruction found she would not be visible until the very last moment.

“Miss Collins-Smith was completely in dark clothing, for the driver to detect her, in my opinion, would be a very difficult hazard,” he said, adding: “I can only conclude the primary cause of the collision was the action or inaction of the pedestrian. There was a suitable footpath on the opposite side of the road. Given the circumstances I do not believe the driver would have been able to react and avoid the pedestrian.”

Reaching a conclusion of death by a road traffic collision, HM Coroner for Pembrokeshire Mark Layton said: “Miss Vanessa Collins-Smith was struck by a vehicle on the A4076 at Dredgeman Hill. The evidence suggests she was walking on the road and the driver who struck her was unable to take any steps to avoid the situation, and Miss Vanessa Collins-Smith sadly passed away.”