The death of a mother who was hit by a car on her way home from a night out with her daughter ‘could have been avoided’, an inquest has heard.

Julie Maudsley was crossing Coulsdon Road near a bus stop on August 2 last year when she was hit by a Vauxhall Insignia and suffered severe head injuries and broken bones.

The teaching assistant was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting but never regained consciousness and died in hospital on August 8.

Giving evidence at the inquest at Croydon Coroner’s Court this morning the driver Jack Mayle said he did not see the 51-year-old until it was too late.

Mr Mayle said: "I remember seeing the bus going and just after I remember Mrs Maudsley just coming out of nowhere, from my right.

"She was by the right front headlight and just stepped out in front of me and by the time I registered her presence she was in front of the car.

"Her speed was like she was basically running."

He told the inquest he did not have any chance to brake or swerve until after he hit Mrs Maudsley.

And collision witness Taurai Mhangami, who had just got off the bus, said he saw her running into the road.

Mr Mhangami said: "The mother started running towards me and past me and continued running.

"Her daughter said ‘Mum, what are you doing?’ and I thought she was going to stop at the white line but she continued running and that’s when the car made an impact."

Collision investigator Mark Crouch, who is based at Catford traffic garage, said Mr Mayle’s vehicle had some defects but none of them contributed to the crash near the junction with Cearn Road.

He said: "Jack Mayle was driving his vehicle at approximately 30 miles an hour when Mrs Maudsley crossed from east to west.

"Had she clearly checked the road for vehicles this collision would have been avoided."

And recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Dr Roy Palmer said to Mrs Maudsley’s daughter Rachael: "I’m so sorry you lost your mother in very sad circumstances which was intended to be a happy night out.

"On the evidence I have heard the short form verdict is accidental death due to a traffic collision."

The family was represented at the inquest by the law firm Irwin Mitchell.

Keith Barrett, a partner at the firm, said: "Mrs Maudsley’s family are devastated by her death and have been left with many questions about whether the collision could have been prevented.

"They would like to thank the coroner for thoroughly investigating the circumstances of the incident.

"We will continue to support them through this difficult time as they look to further understand their loss."