Inquest opens after Ossett mother-of-four killed by suspected drink driver

A MOTHER-of-four who died after she was struck by a suspected drink driver in Ossett had been walking back to a pub with her partner after realising they had forgotten keys when the collision happened, an inquest opening heard.

Melissa Whittington pictured with her partner Mark

Melissa Whittington, 32, suffered fatal injuries when she was hit by an Audi A5 on Healey Road, Ossett, near Wakefield, just before 10pm on Friday, July 14.

An inquest opening at Wakefield was told Mrs Whittington and her partner had been out socialising in a pub and were walking home when one of them realised they had left their keys behind.

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Senior Coroner David Hinchliff told the inquest opening: "They turned back towards retrieving them. At that time a vehicle went past and it was suspected the driver of which had been drinking heavily. A collision occured between this vehicle and Melissa Whittington and that caused her to be injured and taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where she died at 07.30am on July 15."

Mr Hinchliff said he had received an interim report from Sergeant Ann Drury of West Yorkshire Police's major collision enquiry team.

He said: "That report refers to the fact that a person has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving."

The inquest opening heard a post mortem was carried out and a provisional report stated the cause of death as multiple injuries consistent with a road traffic collision.

The inquest opening was told Mrs Whittington, of Horbury Road, Ossett, worked as a cleaner.

Mr Hinchliff adjourned the inquest pending the outcome of police enquiries.

Police said a 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving while over the prescribed limit and also causing death by dangerous driving. He was later released pending further enquiries.

In a statement issued by police following the tradegy, Melissa Whittington's parents said: “Our family and friends are absolutely devastated over the sudden, unexpected death of our beautiful daughter Melissa.

“She was an amazing mother to four beautiful children and loving partner to Mark. Melissa lit up a room with her beautiful smile and she was loved by so many people.

“She was tragically taken away from us all far too soon. Fly high our beautiful angel.”