Storm Doris death: 'Signs of neglect' on debris that killed Tahnie Martin

A piece of wooden roofing that struck and killed a woman during Storm Doris showed signs of neglect and decay, a coroner has heard.

Tahnie Martin was walking past a branch of Starbucks in Wolverhampton last week when she was hit by a two-metre-long piece of timber from a water tank cover.

The 29-year-old died at the scene after suffering head injuries.

Detective Sergeant John Garbett, of West Midlands Police, told the inquest into her death that officers were examining CCTV of the moment the object fell from the roof.

"The debris that struck Miss Martin shows signs of decay and neglect," he told the Black Country Coroner's Court.

Detective Garbett said the cover is believed to have been attached to brick structures on the roof of the Mander Centre shopping complex.

He told coroner Zafar Siddique that the covers were held on by metal hasps.

Environmental health officers are investigating the maintenance schedule for the water tank cover. No contact has been made yet with the owner of the building.

Ms Martin, who worked at the University of Wolverhampton, was with a colleague at the time of the accident on Dudley Street.

The colleague suffered a leg injury but she is not believed to have been struck by the falling debris.

Storm Doris brought snow, rain and winds of up to 94mph to Britain, leading to several incidents in which people were hurt.

A pensioner died in hospital from injuries sustained when his car was crushed by a tree.

In a tribute to Ms Martin last week, her colleagues at the university remembered her as an "irrepressibly optimistic and kind" woman who will be "missed by everyone who knew her".

The inquest is adjourned until April.

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