Shop assistant, 21, killed pensioner in hit & run smash while high on cannabis

A SHOP assistant high on cannabis killed a pensioner who was crossing the road in a hit and run smash.

Hivda Altuntop, 21, sped away from the scene where she ploughed into 73-year-old Penelope Coggan who was thrown 20 yards by the collision.

Hivda Altuntop carried on driving after smashing into Penelope Coggan who was crossing the road

Hivda Altuntop carried on driving after smashing into Penelope Coggan who was crossing the roadCredit: Facebook

CCTV footage suggested she sped at up to 38mph within the 30mph limit and did not brake.

Altuntop, from Dovercourt, Essex, then crashed her Vauxhall Astra into a ditch just half a mile away, where she was arrested by the cops, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Mrs Coggan’s GP son, Michael, who worked in a surgery nearby, rushed to perform CPR was tragically was unable to save her.

The court heard Altuntop was driving home from Colchester having met a cannabis dealer and was using country roads to avoid being caught.

Altuntop carried on driving following the accident with a smashed windscreen, reaching up to 50mph before crashing into the ditch.

She told a witness to “f**k off’ when they saw her climbing out of the car window and went to help.

Altuntop denied causing death by dangerous driving by reason of insanity, claiming she was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time.

However, she was convicted of a number of offences by a majority of 11 to one on every count – including ones from an incident last month – yesterday following her trial.

She was found guilty of two counts of aggravated vehicle taking, two counts of dangerous driving, two counts of possession of a knife, possession of cannabis, assaulting an emergency worker and causing death by dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Carolyn Gardiner said: “Mrs Coggan’s son ran out of the surgery and performed CPR but there was nothing that could be done to save her life.

“She died from the catastrophic injuries she sustained at the scene.”

A number of motorists had seen Altuntop driving dangerously on both legs of her journey including one who had to pull out of the way as she drove towards him and another who was overtaken on a blind summit.

A cop also saw her forcing other vehicles to swerve away but lost sight of her as he turned his marked police car around.

He later got a call to attend a road accident which Altuntop had left in her wake.

Altuntop was taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries, while there she laughed uncontrollably and said she was hungry.

She was later taken to a police station where tests revealed she had marijuana in her system and she admitted smoking a joint.

During the trial three psychiatrists gave evidence – two for the defence and one for the prosecution.

While all three agreed Altuntop had undiagnosed schizophrenia at the time of the crash the prosecution expert said this did not mean she was unaware of the consequences and gravity of her actions.

She was also found guilty by a majority vote of aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, assaulting a police officer and having a bladed article following an incident the previous month.

On that occasion she again took her mother’s car without consent and drove it dangerously in Colchester and London, crashing into a van at one point.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Coggan’s widower, Richard, described her as “a delightful person and mother, always happy, selfless, engaging, thoughtful and practical”.

He added: “Penny was a very special lady, so missed by us all and our friends.”

Altuntop is due to be sentenced next month.

Penelope Coggan was thrown 20 yards in the hit and run smash

Penelope Coggan was thrown 20 yards in the hit and run smashCredit: Essex Police