A young woman and her boyfriend died when she fell asleep at the wheel after a late night and drifted into the path of a lorry, an inquest heard.
Sarah Delf, a PhD student who wanted to be a vet, and Oliver Appleby, both 24, were travelling back to their home when the tragedy happened.
An inquest heard that she had been out the night before the crash and not got back until 4am.
They set off from his family home in Kent around 5.15pm and crashed some three hours later on the A140 nr Diss, Norfolk.
Miss Delf fell asleep and her Mazda 2 drifted across the road and into the path of the lorry.
The couple, who lived in Norwich, suffered multiple injuries and were both killed instantly in the crash last November. The lorry driver escaped with minor injuries.
Accident investigator Pc Andy Fossey told the inquest: “There are a number of possible reasons why the Mazda drifted into the path of the other vehicle but the actual cause of the collision cannot be ascertained.”
He said there were no skid marks or avoidance manoeuvres and witnesses behind Miss Delf’s car said the lorry driver tried to avoid hitting the Mazda.
The couple had been together for five years after meeting at the University of East Anglia in Norwich where Oliver studied American history and politics.
The inquest in Bury St Edmunds, Norfolk heard that his partner was due to complete her PhD this year and had secured a place to become a vet at a college in Bulgaria.
In a statement her family said: “She was a kind, popular and sociable girl, and a senior prefect at school.
“Sarah was beautiful in every sense of the word. She loved life, and lived hers to the full.
“Our hearts feel empty because she has gone but resonate with the love we shared for her and the lasting memories she has left behind.
“We will remember you always Sarah – eternally in our thoughts, forever in our words and in the lives we will carry on living for you.
“You will never be forgotten and will always be a part of our lives. We love you.”
In a tribute Mr Appleby’s family said: “He wasn’t a judgemental, over-opinionated person, he just wished for peace and was so humble.
“He had many interests and hobbies including cooking, home brewing, berry picking and also had a very musical side to him, where he played instruments such as the guitar and the banjo.
“He wasn’t fussy when it came to music, he could listen to anything even if it had cheesy lyrics and a repetitive tune.
“Oliver loved to travel and was a very outdoors person. He visited many cities around the world and met many friends along the way. He was very popular and loved by many for his witty sense of humour, charm and kindness.
“We loved both Oliver and Sarah dearly and they will always be remembered.”
Coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone concluded that they died as a result of the crash.
The lorry driver suffered minor injuries but has since made a full recovery.
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