EXACTLY what led to a crash that killed a woman who was driving home after watching AFC Bournemouth with friends will never be fully known, it emerged at coroner's court this week.

Jane Susan Whitham, aged 77, of Market Place, Blandford, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on the B3082 Badbury Rings Road, near Blandford, on September 28, last year.

She'd been driving home when her Mazda car smashed into one of the many trees lining that part of the road.

On Wednesday (April 1) at Dorset Coroner's Court, Bournemouth Town Hall, coroner Brendan Allen presided over an inquest into her death.

During the hearing Mr Allen read from a crash investigation report, conducted by Dorset Police, which confirmed Mrs Whitham was driving alone at the time of the accident and that the collision was unwitnessed.

The hearing also heard that subsequent toxicology tests carried out post mortem showed no trace of any alcohol nor drugs.

Her car was in good mechanical order, a pathologist found no evidence of any 'acute medical event' she may have suffered at the wheel, and no evidence was found of any other vehicle involved, animal on the carriageway or adverse weather conditions.

One theory hypothesised by police crash investigators was that Mrs Whitham may have been tired due to possible jet lag.

She'd returned from a trip to America just two days earlier.

A statement from close friend Marion Campbell – who Mrs Whitham had watched the Cherries' home game with just hours before the fatal crash – said: "Nothing about Jane's demeanour or manner caused me or my husband any worries."

But in this same statement, read in court by Mr Allen, Mrs Campbell also said: "She was a little bit croaky as she was coming down with a bit of a cold and she looked a little tired, probably from the flight."

However, officially concluding that Mrs Whitham died as a result of a road traffic collision, Mr Allen said: "Police suggest that, potentially, tiredness could have been a contributing factor.

"But as the collision was not witnessed I do not have any direct evidence in relation to that.

"What I am able to say is that on September 28, 2019, Jane Susan Whickham was driving home in her Mazda 2 vehicle on the B3082 Badbury Rings Road.

"Mrs Wickham was alone in her vehicle. Mrs Wickham's vehicle left the highway and collided with a tree."

She suffered catastrophic head injuries and died at the scene.