YOUNG mum Hannah Wood was using her phone to talk to friends when she crashed her Mini Cooper into a tree and it burst into flames, an inquest heard today.

Hannah, 30, of Glebe Road, Minchinhampton, who died on February 13, was the partner-of-eight-years to Jon Newman and mother of their four-year-old son Jamie.

On the B4014 road near Avening, Hannah made a phone call and sent texts as she drove to meet a friend, the Gloucester inquest was told.

She had left work at lunchtime that day to meet friend Sarah Hodges in Stroud.

Miss Hodges stated that she received texts from Hannah at 12.27pm and 12.28pm. She responded after the last text but heard nothing back.

Also at 12.28pm, another friend, Antonia Hinder, spoke to Hannah on the phone.

In her statement, read to Gloucester Coroners Court, she said that she could tell Hannah was driving at the time. 

She also said she had been in the car with Miss Wood on previous occasions when she had had answered her phone, put it on loud speaker and placed it on her lap.

Collision investigator, PC Joseph Sample confirmed the mobile phone's text and call history indicated she had been using the phone at around the time of the collision.

PC Sample told the court that on the stretch that Miss Wood was driving there is a very slight right curve to the road.

Marks on the road at that point indicated that Miss Wood continued driving straight and her wheels went onto the grass verge.

"It is likely she was using her phone in some capacity at that point and was therefore distracted, leading her to enter the grass verge," the officer said.

"She possibly felt a change in the handling of the vehicle as her car hit the verge and reacted by applying harsh right hand steering. 

"This led to her moving across the road and hitting the grass verge on the opposite side before colliding with the tree."

A post mortem could not ascertain the exact cause of death.

However, the investigation revealed that she likely died instantaneously due to her injuries.

Senior Gloucestershire Coroner Katie Skerrett said she accepted the medical cause of death as unascertained due to the charring of the body.

"It is likely she suffered overwhelming injuries and likely passed away before the fire started. 

"The absence of soot deposits and low levels of smoke indicate that" Mrs Skerrett said.

Mrs Skerrett said she agreed with PC Sample that "Miss Wood's lack of concentration was due to her using her phone at the same time she was approaching that gradual bend.

"She didn't adjust steering and hit the verge which led to her moving to the opposite side of the road and going into another verge before hitting the tree.

"I am satisfied she died before the fire broke out" Mrs Skerrett said before recording a conclusion of road traffic accident.

At the time of Hannah's death it was reported that several people tried to rescue her from the wreckage of her burning car but were beaten back by the flames.

Two of her devastated friends launched appeals to raise funds to support Hannah's four-year-old son Jamie and partner Jon after the tragedy.

One friend, Jemma Pawlyszyn, announced plans to run a half marathon next month to raise money for Jamie to do something in memory of his mum.

Twenty-one well wishers have so far sponsored her to the tune of £285.

Jemma said: "Hannah was such a lovely kind woman and I cannot believe someone so caring and warm has been taken so suddenly, leaving behind her son Jamie.

"I know there is nothing I can do to bring Hannah back and it's heartbreaking but I'd like to raise some money for Jamie."

Another friend, Adam Scotford, set up a Justgiving page which was supported by 163 people and raised almost £2,400.

The conclusion by the court was that it was a 'road traffic collision'.