On April 25, Hannah Sanders and Lee Palmer were thrilled to find out they were expecting a baby. In fact, they were so excited that they hopped in their car to drive to Hannah’s parents’ house to tell them the good news.
However, they never arrived because they got in a car accident just 30 minutes after an at home pregnancy test confirmed that Hannah was carrying a baby.
Tragically, Hannah, Lee and their unborn baby died immediately. After the accident, Pat Sander’s, Hannah’s mother, said she found out about the couple’s baby when the police handed her a printout of the messages her daughter posted on an online forum for expecting moms. Hannah’s last message on the forum read, “I still won’t be 100 per cent convinced till I have like 30 lines lol.”
Hannah’s mother said that the couple had just picked up the keys to a house and were planning to get married. She also commented on Hannah’s posts online. She said, “We couldn’t believe it. Hannah was so obviously thrilled and there were so many messages of congratulations – poignantly, some were even being posted after she’d died. But then as news of the deaths spread, people began posting RIP condolences.”
An inquest at Surrey Coroner’s Court heard how Miss Sanders and Mr Palmer picked up the keys to their new home on the day they died – April 25 this year.
It was raining when Miss Sanders lost control of her car on a corner and skidded across the road, straight into the path of a Toyota Hilux driven by Rita Heath at 1.45pm.
Mrs Heath, 75, who will not face prosecution, told the inquest in Woking she saw the Clio ‘slide’ across the B269 road in Surrey, where the speed limit was 60mph, before the two vehicles crashed into each other.
‘The motor came round the bend and slid across the road. I looked and thought, “My God, they are on my side of the road”.’ She said there was ‘no way’ she could have avoided the car, adding: ‘It was over in seconds.’
Assistant Surrey coroner Simon Wickens recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision in the deaths of Miss Sanders and Mr Palmer, both of whom sustained multiple injuries.
Mr Wickens said: ‘Hannah was struggling to control her car at the time. It would have been a fast-moving incident.
‘There was very little more Rita Heath could do. In reality, we shall never know the reason Hannah lost control’.
Speaking before the inquest, Miss Sanders’s mother said: ‘It’s tragic that she and Lee never got to tell us their wonderful news. They would have been so happy and excited.
‘Being a mum and marrying Lee was all Hannah ever wanted.’