A MALTON woman who was killed when her car crashed in Australia was over the drink-drive limit, an inquest heard.

Katherine Mary Hannah, who was 27, died in the accident on October 17, last year, in New South Wales, Australia.

A post-mortem examination found alcohol levels of 0.207g per 100ml of blood. The limit in New South Wales is 0.05g.

The daughter of the late Rupert and Fiona Hannah, who lives in Malton, Katherine was in Australia continuing her career as an occupational therapist in mental health, while exploring the country.

An inquest into her death, held in Northallerton last Wednesday, heard written evidence from Peta Ericsson, an Australian investigating officer.

She said that on the day in question, Katherine had been driving her vehicle in Talofa, New South Wales. Following a “sweeping left hand bend”, the car left the road and crashed into trees.

Ms Ericsson said: “There were no witnesses; however another motorist came across the accident in moments.”

The motorist smashed the car window and tried to give medical aid, but access was limited. Katherine was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ms Ericsson added that she had been wearing her seatbelt, and that there were no skidmarks on the road, which was wet, though it wasn’t raining at the time of the crash.

The inquest heard a statement from Katherine’s mother, Fiona.

She said: “She’d been driving about nine years and had never been involved in a collision. She did have a history of depression and had self-harmed in the past.”

But she added: “She was extremely excited about going to Australia, seeing friends and this new chapter in her life. We were completely shocked by what had been found in the toxicology.”

Coroner Michael Oakley said: “It’s clear Katherine was well over the limit and that has clearly led to impairment of her driving ability. There is no evidence that this was in any way a deliberate act.”

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.