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Woman died after being hit by police van in Norfolk, inquest hears

Helen Loveday. Credit: PA/Family picture.

An inquest has heard how a mum-of-three died after she was hit by a police van that was out looking for her in Norfolk.

Helen Loveday, 52, was struck while walking in Wymondham Road, Hethel, on July 27 last year.

She was flown to Addenbrooke's Hospital by the Duke of Cambridge on his final shift as an air ambulance pilot but died two days later.

The scene of the crash in July last year. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Norfolk's senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said Ms Loveday, from Market Harborough, had gone to stay with her sister in Wreningham.

"During the evening of July 27 Helen became upset and left the property," Ms Lake said.

"Her sister telephoned the police and told them Helen had run off and there were concerns for her welfare."

She said police sent units to search the area, and one of the vans struck Ms Loveday.

"I would ask you to bear in mind that the incident occurred in the evening when it was dark," she said.

Ms Loveday, who had been married and divorced twice, had health problems affecting her mobility, suffered anxiety and said she had a "split personality disorder", Ms Hurn said in a statement.

Ms Loveday, who lived with her boyfriend Glen Galway and his daughter, told her sister she had been "bickering about money" with him, the inquest heard.

Ms Hurn added that her sister was "angry" about a separate phone call with Mr Galway before she left.

Ms Loveday said "something about killing herself, I can't remember the exact words" and then left the house, Ms Hurn said.

Several motorists described seeing a person walking in the unlit road, and driver Michael Broad said he saw a police van ahead of him come "shuddering to a halt" before the driver got out and put both hands to his head.

Mr Broad said he estimated the van was driving at 55mph shortly before and was "obviously hurrying somewhere but I didn't consider the driving inappropriate".

In a statement read by the coroner's officer, Mr Galway said: "Helen and I loved each other.

"We never had any rows. If we disagreed about something we would talk it through.

"I think it was the alcohol that led... to her being killed."

The inquest, listed for five days, continues.