A STOURBRIDGE woman with a history of mental health problems was hit by a car and killed after she deliberately lay in the middle of a main road after leaving hospital, an inquest was told.

Deborah Williams, of Lion Street, was hit by the driver of a Range Rover who at first thought he was driving over a large bag outside Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley in the early hours of April 2.

Tragically he had run over Miss Williams, aged 50, who had been lying in the fetal position on the A4101 High Street, Black Country Coroner’s Court was told.

Area coroner for the Black Country, Joanne Lees, told today's inquest hearing it was the second time that night that Miss Williams had lay down in the road.

Earlier that evening, on April 1, she had attended Russells Hall Hospital following an assault and after being discharged just after midnight she was found in her dressing gown and pyjama bottoms lying in the middle of the A4101 outside the hospital entrance by an off-duty medic who alerted a passing off-duty police officer.

An approaching ambulance also stopped and the paramedics recognised Miss Williams, who it was said was known to lie down in the road after being seen at the hospital.

The court was told Miss Williams, who had a long history of mental health difficulties, was heard to say something like 'I just want to die' before she was returned to hospital by ambulance.

Again she was discharged - with security asked to follow her on CCTV.

The paramedics also followed her as she walked out of A&E and they saw her walk out into the carriageway, place a bag down on the road and lie in the fetal position.

This time the move proved fatal as she was hit by passing motorist Zahir Mahmood at around half past midnight.

The court was told Mr Mahmood had not been drinking, taking drugs or speeding. It was a clear night with good weather conditions and he had assumed what was in the road was a plastic bag but as he proceeded he "felt a thud and heard a bang" and the coroner added: "He wasn't sure what he'd run over and he stopped his vehicle a short distance down the road."

She said it was only when he saw paramedics performing chest compressions in the road that "he realised the bag was in fact a person".

He informed officials what had happened and Miss Williams was taken back to Russells Hall Hospital where it was confirmed she had died from multiple severe injuries due to the road traffic collision.

Coroner Mrs Lees said there was no fault on the part of the driver and Miss Williams had deliberately placed herself in harm’s way by lying in the carriageway of a busy road for the second time in around 30 minutes.

She told the court Miss Williams had expressed suicidal thoughts to medics in March when she presented at the hospital's A&E department twice - and on the one occasion she was under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for a public order offence - having been seen continuously lying in the road which resulted in six call outs by the ambulance service.

She said she was satisfied Miss Williams had intended her actions on that fateful night to cause her death, that it had been a "deliberate act" and she concluded her death was suicide.

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