A TRAINEE teacher who died in a crash on the A48 - and the driver whose car hit hers - did not see each other until it was too late because a parked vehicle created a blindspot for them, an inquest was told.

The parents of Rhiannon Smith, who died six days after the crash last March, told the Argus after the hearing that they intend to ask Newport council if the space where the car was parked, outside Britannia Motors at Llandevaud, can be removed.

"We are very keen for something to done, and we hope to talk to our local councillors about it. It really needs taking away," said her father Julian Smith.

Miss Smith's mother Gillian witnessed the crash that killed her daughter in her own car mirror, from just metres away.

She said she is pleased that David Bowen, the senior coroner for Gwent, acknowledged that the vehicle parked in the space that morning "had a major impact on what happened."

A police collision expert agreed that the blindspot created by the parked car on the morning of March 16 was a significant contributory factor in a crash that caused "catastrophic damage " to 21-year-old Miss Smith's Toyota Yaris.

She died in hospital on March 22, having sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.

In a statement read at the inquest, Mrs Smith described seeing the collision in her car mirror as she waited for the school bus with her younger daughter, just metres north of the Hendrew Lane junction with the A48.

They had left the family's house in the lane, in Llandevaud, moments before, and Rhiannon's car had still been parked outside.

Waiting near the bus stop on the A48, Mrs Smith saw Rhiannon's car at the lane junction. The next thing she recalled was seeing it hit by a Range Rover approaching from the direction of Newport.

Range Rover driver Neil Fowler, from Risca, said in a statement that he had been travelling at about 52mph on the A48, on his way to work in Caldicot, when a car pulled out in front of him from the left by Britannia Motors.

He braked and began to turn to the right, but said he could not avoid hitting it. He remembered seeing the driver - Miss Smith - looking at him with "terror" on her face.

After hitting her car, the Range Rover continued right across the road and hit a tree. Mr Fowler sustained minor injuries, including slight whiplash.

He remembered thinking "where did she come from?" and said he has suffered flashbacks and had been "greatly upset" to hear that Miss Smith had subsequently died.

PC Anthony Parker, a forensic collision investigator with Gwent Police, said the damage to Miss Smith's car - to the front and on the driver's side, around the door - was "catastrophic."

He surveyed the scene, and reviewed footage of the incident captured on CCTV at Britannia Motors, and concluded that a vehicle - parked "perfectly legally" - in the space outside Britannia Motors, created a blindspot for both drivers.

Miss Smith had been turning right onto the A48 out of Hendrew Lane to join the traffic heading towards Newport, on her way to her teaching placement in Tonypandy.

PC Parker said that when she "timed her movement to pull in behind the last vehicle on the far side of the road, the Range Rover was probably in the blindspot, behind the parked car."

He said this left Mr Fowler, also in the blindspot from the opposite direction, with less than two seconds to deal with the hazard.

Questioned by James Hughes, counsel for the family, PC Parker said it was correct that there would have been a point at which neither driver would have been able to see the other.

"The parked vehicle, in creating a blindspot, was a significant contributory factor?" asked Mr Hughes, to which PC Parker replied: "It certainly was."

He added that without the parked vehicle, visibility from the Hendrew Lane junction back down the eastbound carriageway of the A48 is some 250 metres.

Mr Hughes said the parking space is of "very serious concern" to Miss Smith's parents, and asked Mr Bowen to consider writing to Newport council to ask it "to consider the state of this road and in particular the presence of the parked car at Britannia Motors."

Mr Bowen did not act on that request, but reached a conclusion of "accidental death from a road traffic incident."

He stressed that Miss Smith had been concentrating on traffic on the far Newport-bound side of the A48 clearing the junction before she pulled out.

"I am satisfied she was therefore oblivious to the presence of the Range Rover," he said.

"It is not a case where she was chancing her luck in any way. She just did not see it, due to the presence of that parked car."

Miss Smith's family made a decision after her death to donate their daughter's organs for transplant, and Mr Bowen said he understood others had benefited from their "brave" decision.

"It cannot be underestimated how courageous a decision that is, and they are to be congratulated," he said.