Margaret Hodge’s daughter-in-law was hit by a car and died

The daughter-in-law of Labour MP Margaret Hodge died after being struck by a police community support officer’s car as he drove to work, an inquest heard.

Rachel Watson, 43, suffered brain and spinal injuries when she was hit by a car while out running in February. She died later that day in hospital.    

The mother-of-three had left her home in Leeds to go for a run at around 10am on Saturday, February 4 but was hit just 20 minutes later on the A6120 at Moortown.

She was following a training programme for a forthcoming half marathon.

Mother-of-three Rachel Watson, 43, died after being hit by a grey Vauxhall Corsa in Moortown, Leeds, on February 4

Police community support officer Alexander L’Amie, 24, was driving to work between 60mph and 65mph in his Vauxhall Corsa. 

Mr L’Amie told police he first saw self-employed Mrs Watson, from West Park, West Yorkshire, when he was eight to ten car lengths from her.

He ‘dabbed’ his brakes to slow down after seeing Mrs Watson stood on the inside lane, around one foot away from the centre line marking, Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard.

Mr L’Amie said when he got close to Mrs Watson, she started to cross and he braked and steered the car towards the central reservation in an attempt to avoid her.

Forensic collision investigator Andrew Cross, said: ‘I consider the main contributing factor was the pedestrian failing to appreciate the oncoming Vauxhall.’

Labour MP Margaret Hodge - her daughter-in-law was killed in a car crash on February 4

Labour MP Margaret Hodge – her daughter-in-law was killed in a car crash on February 4

Mr Cross said Mr L’Amie had ‘little or no opportunity to take avoiding action’.

Area coroner Jonathan Leach, said: ‘I’m satisfied on the evidence that for some reason Rachel entered the road when vehicles were coming towards her.

‘Why she did so is unknown. The most likely possibility is that she didn’t appreciate the speed which the vehicles were travelling.

‘I’m satisfied that Mr L’Amie had no opportunity to avoid the collision.’

The devastated family paid tribute to the ‘warm and generous’ mother following the tragedy in February.

In a statement, they said: ‘We are completely devastated by the loss of Rachel, a devoted wife, mother, stepmum, daughter and sister.

‘Rachel was beautiful, warm, generous and kind – nothing was too much trouble for her family or her friends. She also had a great sense of fun and would light up any gathering.

‘All those who knew Rachel will share our sadness at her tragic death, which came far too young, but she will be particularly missed by Nick, her husband, and the children.’