Father saw Joanne dying in the street

A FATHER watched in horror as his daughter lay dying after a collision with a car only yards from her home, an inquest has heard.

A FATHER watched in horror as his daughter lay dying after a collision with a car only yards from her home, an inquest has heard.

Ten-year-old Joanne Dockett had been crossing Byron Road in Ipswich after getting off a bus when the tragedy happened.

She suffered massive head injuries and was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital where medics fought to save her life.

But nine days later, on August 11, the popular Whitton Community Primary School pupil died, with her distraught family at her bedside.

A coroner yesterday ruled that her death was a “tragic accident”.

Greater Suffolk coroner Peter Dean read a statement of the facts outlining how Joanne had been returning from shopping and visiting her sister when she ran off the bus before her dad Michael could follow.

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The inquest was told Mr Dockett was unable to see her run around the back of the bus and step out in front of an oncoming Ford Fiesta.

A police investigation found the driver of the Fiesta would have had less than a second to respond when Joanne emerged from behind the bus.

Dr Dean, sitting at Ipswich Crown Court, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: “Clearly what took place on that day was a very tragic road accident that took the life of Joanne Dockett in these very sad circumstances. Our thoughts are very much with the family at this time.”

The court heard from a detective in the case who said an investigation into the death found there were no suspicious circumstances.

The visibility that day was said to be good, although the road was described as “quite busy” with a 30mph speed limit where cars would park on either side.

Dr Dean said the driver of the Fiesta had initially been unaware she had hit Joanne, only noticing a crack on her windscreen before seeing a girl in the road through her mirror.

JOANNE Dockett's parents described their daughter as being “full of beans”.

Janet and Michael Dockett did not want to comment after yesterday's inquest but in the days after her death they issued a heartfelt tribute and told of their devastation at their loss.

They said: “Our little Joanne was one of the liveliest children in the street and was someone who was so full of beans she could not sit still for any moment of the day.

“She goes leaving a very large hole in our lives and her mum and dad, and her sisters, Sarah and Louise, will keep her memory alive forever.

“We would like to thank everyone who has sent us cards, greetings and so many flowers to show their care and sympathy.

“Each of you has made our pain just a little bit lighter.”

After the inquest, Whitton vicar Rev Andrew Dotchin raised concerns over the speed limits in the Whitton area.

He said: “The driver involved in the accident was found well within the speed limit and there is no blame that can be placed on them but the concern in the area is that the speed limit is too high in any event.

“Through the community forum we are attempting to have the Whitton area made a 20mph zone under the headline 20's Plenty where people live.”

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