Driver stole car before killing ex-nurse in Essex hit-and-run

Penelope Coggan: "A very special lady”
Penelope Coggan was described as "a very special lady”. Credit: Family photo/Essex Police

The death of a former nurse was caused by a woman who "had no regard for the safety of others", police have said.

Hivda Altuntop, 21, was driving a silver Vauxhall Astra when she hit pedestrian Penelope Coggan. The 73-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident took place on Harwich Road, Great Oakley in Essex last April.

Altuntop failed to stop and was only caught when she crashed her car further up the road. She was found to be in possession of cannabis and a small kitchen knife.

Altuntop was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving when she appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday.

Police found Altuntop did not own the car she was driving and had driven it without the owner’s consent. Shortly before the fatal collision Altuntop had consumed cannabis.

Alongside being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, she was also found guilty of aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, assault on a police officer and possession of a bladed article.

Speaking for the first time after the trial, Mrs Coggan's husband, Richard, paid tribute to his wife saying she was “a delightful person and as a mother, always happy, selfless, engaging and thoughtful, supportive and practical.”

“Penny was an avid horse lover and book reader - a very special lady, so missed by us all and our friends.”

Det Con Edward Gosling said: “My thoughts are with Penelope’s family and friends today as this conviction brings the trial to a close.

“Hivda Altuntop drove dangerously, having no regard for the safety of others, her behaviour and poor decisions led to a fatal collision which resulted in the tragic loss of life.”

Sentencing will take place next month.

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