A “NERVOUS and inexperienced” driver was killed after losing control of her car on the M5 before veering sideways across two lanes and colliding with another vehicle, an inquest heard.

Sorina Gheorghe, from Worcester, had been attempting to overtake a van and trailer but misjudged the manoeuvre before swerving back into the left lane and panicking as she tried to correct her car.

The 24-year-old braked sharply and jolted the steering wheel quickly one way and then the other, causing her Peugeot 206 hatchback to swerve off into lanes two and three.

As a result, a Land Rover Discovery crashed head-on into the side of Miss Gheorghe’s car before both vehicles ran into lane four and the 4x4 hit the central reservation barrier.

PC Mark Murphy, forensic investigator for West Mercia Police, reviewed dashcam footage of the crash, which took place around 5.40am on April 3.

Speaking at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court yesterday, he said Miss Gheorghe’s accidental actions had resulted in “violent and substantial impact” with the other car.

“The manner of driving is indicative of a novice, unconfident or nervous driver,” he said, going on to describe how she had attempted three manoeuvres but “barely flashed” her indicators before pulling out each time.

PC Murphy said she “lost control” after “failing to notice” the white van and trailer being driven by Benjamin Brady.

She swerved back having just missed making contact with the van and then “in an attempt to regain proper control [began] steering towards the offside while braking hard.”

The constable said there was a “degree of panic” in Miss Gheorghe as she attempted the reposition and when she tried to correct the other way.

“It’s that combination of both left and right,” he said. “With a novice driver the tendency is to keep on the brakes, when releasing the brakes is often more beneficial.”

PC Murphy said the small silver Peugeot spun clockwise after the crash before coming to a stop “straddling” lane three and four, “facing northbound”.

He estimated from the footage, supplied by Alex Green who was driving behind the van and trailer in lane two, that Miss Gheorghe had been travelling at a speed between 50 and 60mph.

The officer said one of the Land Rover’s tyres had burst in the crash and there was “significant damage” to the front of the car but that no-one in the car had been injured.

Miss Gheorghe’s car suffered “extremely significant damage” and her steering wheel had “buckled and deformed” and the air bag had not deployed.

PC Murphy said examinations of the two vehicles involved had highlighted no concerns about prior defects.

The collision had taken place on a section of SMART motorway where there is no hard shoulder and the left two lanes split off towards the M42 junction, while the right lanes continue on towards the M6.

“The area doesn’t benefit from street lighting so was very dark at the time,” he added.

Miss Gheorghe lived with her mum Lulia Gainar in Newport Street, Worcester, and had moved from Romania six years before her death.

Her mum had told the court via a statement, that her daughter had complained of headaches and tiredness.

“I think she had a lot on, and she was just doing too much,” she said.

She described Miss Gheorghe as “not a confident driver” and she had complained that the roads are wider with a lot more cars in the UK.

She had just started a factory job three weeks before which required her to drive on the motorway, with which she was unfamiliar, and the previous day she had worked an extended shift.

The inquest also heard from William Chin, who had set off from Suffolk with his dad, and had been driving in lane three when the crash happened.

In a statement read out in court, he described hearing an “almighty bang” as the two cars collided.

“I could see the driver side of the car was completely crushed inwards and the driver was not moving,” he added.

Mr Brady, an engineer from Cirencester, who had been travelling to Chester in his van and towing a trailer, said there had been a light fog prior to the crash.

However, this cleared quickly but Miss Gheorghe’s rear fog lights remained on which “dazzled me” and he flashed his headlights to try to get her to turn them off, as did other cars.

He said as the Peugeot had attempted to overtake him: “I remember saying, ‘wow, don’t do that!’”

CPR was given to Miss Gheorghe at the scene of the crash before she went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 6.04am.

Assistant coroner Simon Charlton said Miss Gheorghe was “very tired and suffering from hay fever” at the time of her death. He concluded she had died from multiple injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.