A woman who had been the victim of violent abuse at the hands of her partner died after getting out of his van into the path of another vehicle on the A38 while three times over the drink-driving limit.
Veronika Pugaciova died in the early hours of the morning on July 7, 2017, after a road accident between Branston and Clay Mills the previous day when she had walked out of a van which had been driven by her partner Jonathan Allison.
An inquest at Burton Town Hall was told that the 32-year-old retail worker had had a stormy relationship with driver Mr Allison, who had been jailed just three months previously for violence against her.
The deceased had been associated with heroin since the age of 15 and was on methadone as well as having problems with alcohol. She was holding a can of Polish lager at the time of the collision with a VW Golf driven by Dr Helen Rodwell, who was unable to avoid a crash.
The inquest heard that Ms Pugaciova died as the result of severe head injuries which were consistent with being hit by a vehicle.
DI Phillip Bryan, of Staffordshire Police CID, based at Hanley Police Station, said that Miss Pugaciova had been in the car with Jonathan Allison, who she had a restraining order against due to domestic violence, on the night of the incident.
Mr Allison failed to attend the inquest to give details about what happened that night.
Police initially received reports of the collision at 8.20pm on July 6 and when officers arrived they found the victim with serious injuries after being hit by the Vauxhall Golf.
People at the scene, including Dr Rodwell, were tending to Miss Pugaciova and a Ford Transit van driven by Mr Allison was parked in a nearby layby.
Miss Pugaciova was airlifted to the University Hospital, in Coventry, where she later died.
DI Bryan said a full investigation was launched due to concerns over Mr Allison being in the company of the victim. He said that the 32-year-old had moved to Hull from Lithuania with a former partner and had started a relationship with Mr Allison in 2015.
It was initially good but the relationship started to deteriorate. Mr Allison had been jailed for 16 weeks for battery in April 2017 and had previously received a conditional discharge for the same offence in 2016. He had other court appearances for breaches of non-molestation orders and failing to comply with a community order.
Their relationship was described as "stormy" and Miss Pugaciova battled with depression but they continued to see each other, despite the restraining order.
On the day of the collision, Miss Pugaciova had been to her sister Oksana's house in Hull where she used her sister's phone and sent a message to Mr Allison which said "ring." He then picked her up and they travelled to Staffordshire to drop some tools off to his boss.
They met him at The Owl pub in Lichfield, where they stayed for a drink. Automatic number plate recognition cameras and people who spoke to them on the day had no concerns that Miss Pugaciova was being held against her will.
During the ride there were some cans of Polish lager in the footwell of the car which were consumed by Miss Pugaciova, with one still in her hand when she was hit.
Dashcam footage from the Vauxhall Golf showed the vehicle approaching the transit van. Its back lights were visible with the vehicle parked in a layby.
Miss Pugaciova got out of the passenger door and walked around the back of the van towards the road. The driver of the Vauxhall sounded her horn but Miss Pugaciova walked out on to the carriageway looking away from the traffic.
She then approached the centre line and started to run and the Vauxhall driver was unable to avoid hitting her, the inquest heard.
When questioned, Mr Allison answered no comment but gave a prepared statement saying he was in shock and did not kill Miss Pugaciova.
Nick Hunt, who carried out the post mortem, found there were no injuries suggestive of "a violent third party assault." A toxicology report found she had 247 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of blood and 375 mg of alcohol in 100 millitres of urine. She also had methadone in her system, which she had collected on the day of the accident.
Margaret Jones, assistant coroner for South Staffordshire, said there were only two people who knew why Miss Pugaciova got out of the car that day and Mr Allison would not reveal it.
She ruled that she died from severe blunt head injuries as the result of a road traffic collision.
Mrs Jones said: "I would like to pass on my very deepest sympathy to the family."