Inquest told Wisbech man may have pushed his fiance into path of oncoming car on A47 in tragedy that killed them both
14:52 12 January 2016
The driver that struck and killed a couple walking along the A47 claimed at an inquest the man pushed his female partner into his car.
“There was absolutely no logic to it all,” Vernon Lee told the Kings Lynn inquest.
It was only later that he became aware he’d struck the man as well; both died.
Witnesses who saw the young couple struck by a car as they were walking along the A47 near Wisbech confirmed to the inquest it appeared the man may have knocked the woman.
They were giving evidence at the resumed inquest into the deaths of 26-year-old Tadas Zaleskas and his 24-year-old fiancé Nonita Karajevaite in July 2014.
The couple - originally from Lithuania but living in Emneth - were engaged to be married.
Lesley Hopwood was a passenger travelling along the A47 with her husband when she could see the couple on the edge of the road ‘banging into each other’.
She said: “It didn’t seem to be aggressive but then it happened so quickly. I screamed but suddenly they were both gone.”
Witnesses who had also seen the couple before the collision said they seemed to be in good spirits, whereas others said the pair seemed to be an argument happening between the pair.
Vernon Lee was driving the car that had struck the young couple as they walked in the direction of King’s Lynn.
Mr Lee said he gave them enough space when he passed by - but suddenly and for no reason, the man pushed the woman into his car.
He also thought Mr Zaleskas looked at him before pushing his partner.
When the inquest began last month, it was told Tadas Zaleskas and Nonita Karajevaite had called at a farm shop close to the A47 and asked staff to call the police before leaving.
Earlier, the couple had posted their house keys through the letter box at their home, in Church Road, Emneth, and they had dismantled their mobile phones.
The medical cause of death for Mr Zaleskas was recorded as severe head injuries and Miss Karajevaite was multiple injuries.
David Osborne, assistant coroner for Norfolk, concluded both died as a result of a traffic collision.