Teacher phoned school to say she’d be late then minutes later died in car accident

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A teacher who was running late to pick up her child died after her car hit standing water and went into a river, an inquest has heard.

Emma Fegan, 39, rang the school where she was due to pick up one of her children before she left home to tell them that she would be late.

But seven or eight minutes later, she was involved in a single vehicle accident which no-one witnessed.

A farm worker, travelling with a colleague in a Land Rover in heavy rain, saw something which looked like debris on Hoveringham Road in Nottingham and they stopped.

His workmate then saw what looked like a car in the River Trent, NottinghamshireLive reports.

“I could see a car on its roof upside down,” the statement read.

He called emergency services on his phone at 3.43pm and the non-swimmer added “I was hoping that someone who was inside the car was caught in an air bubble or something like that”.

The inquest heard about the rescue operation and how a person was found in the car and freed and taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre for resuscitation and rewarming was attempted but was sadly unsuccessful.

The virtual inquest heard the medical cause of death was “immersion in water as a result of a single vehicle road traffic accident”.

Resident Joanne Connors did not go back down that road “because it was quite severe when I went down it initially”.

She told assistant coroner Jonathan Straw: “It’s not a busy road but, you know, it’s quite seasonal; if the weather is good everybody drove there. The weather was atrocious that day”.

Double decker school bus driver Tomasz Branski said “there’s always a problem there” when asked by the coroner about an area at an entrance to a farm where photos showed standing water.

He said: “When it’s raining, sometimes the water is as deep as up to knee-level”.

He was travelling towards Caythorpe with children on board and had just approached a right hand bend when a black BMW came around the bend in the opposite direction.

The coroner asked him: “The BMW that came past you in the opposite direction, relative to the weather conditions, how would you say it was being driven?”

Mr Branski said “it was definitely too fast”, adding that he had to move towards the edge of the road, “so I would not be hit by the vehicle”.

A family liaison officer, speaking on behalf of her husband, Richard, said at the point where the bus driver saw Emma the road was a 60mph speed limit.

The BMW was a rear wheel drive and prone to being slippy on ice and in water. He had experience himself of aquaplaning in the car at 30mph.

There was no forensic evidence to derive the precise speed at the point the BMW hit the standing water and lost control.

The coroner said: “It’s clear hitting the water caused Emma to lose control of the car”.

Her blood was taken after resuscitation (blood alcohol levels rise after death) and she had excess alcohol in her system “to what degree is variable due to treatments that were administered”, said the coroner.

Mrs Fegan, who lived in Hoveringham, led the science department at The Dukeries Academy in New Ollerton.

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