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  1. ITV Report

Jury records narrative conclusion in Storm Doris death

Tahnie Martin died after she was struck by a wooden panel during Storm Doris. Credit: ITV News Central

An "absence of maintenance" played a role in the death of a pedestrian hit by a rotten building panel torn loose by strong winds, an inquest jury has found.

Jurors were told the section of a water tank cover - similar in size to a dining table - hit Tahnie Martin after falling from the roof of Black Rock building in Wolverhampton, near to the Mander Centre shopping mall, last February.

A jury heard how the panel became detached from the plant room roof of the build due to strong winds, caused by Storm Doris.

The panel "became detached due to the absence of maintenance which had resulted in bad rot, corroded and defective fixtures", the inquest heard.

A jury of three men and seven women returned a narrative conclusion.

  • Watch Melissa Wright's report below

Assistant coroner Emma Whitting said:

To you this must seem a senseless death. Tahnie was just embarking on a new exciting phase of her life, with a job she loved and a marriage planned. It was all so suddenly and so cruelly taken away from her by a piece of rotten timber making its way onto an ordinary shopping street.

– Emma Whitting, Assistant Coroner

Ms Whitting said she will be sending a prevention of future death report to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

She said there appeared to be no mandatory requirement for surveyors to indicate any areas of a building which have not been accessed as part of a survey, nor are there recommendations as to when this should take place and why.

A separate health and safety investigation by Wolverhampton City Council is continuing.

Tahnie Martin worked at the University of Wolverhampton and was planning her wedding. Credit: Facebook

Ms Martin worked at the University of Wolverhampton before her death.

Speaking the after inquest, Katharine Clough, the university's external relations director, said:

We were all really shocked and upset by Tahnie's death.

We feel privileged and honoured to have worked alongside her. She was one of our shining stars, a talented and creative marketing professional with an enthusiasm and smile which were infectious.

Tahnie was extremely popular with her colleagues and is hugely missed. There is not a day goes by when we don't think about her.

Our thoughts are particularly with Shaun, Tahnie's fiance, her mum and dad and her close friends. This will have been an extremely difficult time for them.

We will remember Tahnie as the warm, effervescent, fun soul she was.

– Katharine Clough, external relations director, University of Wolverhampton

In statement issued on behalf of the family, solicitor Deborah Robinson said it had been "a difficult process" but gave their thanks to those involved in the investigation into Ms Martin's death.