A coroner has commended the colleagues of a West Yorkshire soldier for risking their lives to help her after she was injured in an explosion as she tried to detonate a bomb in Afghanistan.
Captain Lisa Head lost her limbs in the blast in an alleyway in Helmand Province on 18th April 2011.
The 29 year old from Huddersfield was flown home and treated in hospital in Birmingham where she died the next day.
Today, at Bradford Coroner's Court, Coroner Paul Marks told the inquest into Captain Head's death that it was "testament to her own physical stamina" and the quality of care she had received that she survived for as long as she did with the "catastrophic injuries". He also praised colleagues who went to her aid after the explosion.
– Coroner Paul Marks
At potential risk to your own lives, you went to the help of one of your fallen comrades and did your absolute best. I commend you on that."
Corporal Adam Tucker told the inquest that he and Captain Head had gone to the alleyway in Nahr-e-Saraj after reports of a suspicious device being found there. He said Captain Head defused one Improvised Explosive Device before retreating to a safe distance. She returned to the alleyway with a colleague to take photographs when a second device partially exploded resulting in no injuries.
– Corporal Adam Tucker
I asked Captain Head over and over again if she was happy to continue and being a stubborn Yorkshire woman as she was, she was quite happy to continue."
The soldier said Captain Head returned into the alleyway again and a third device detonated. Corporal Tucker said he grabbed a weapon, medical kit and metal detector to search down to Captain Head but when the dust cleared, he realised there was no time to search safely so they took a risk and ran straight to her aid.
The coroner recorded a verdict that Captain Lisa Head was unlawfully killed on active service in Afghanistan.