Dawn Graves, a British mother of two, has died a hero. An inquest shows that she was killed while protecting her 20-month-old son from an oncoming sanitation truck, This Is Lancashire reports. She was pushing the toddler’s stroller out of the way, but couldn’t save herself.
Graves, a 25-year-old who was to be married within months, “sacrificed her own life for the benefit of her son,” concluded deputy coroner Alan Walsh, according to the outlet.
The collision, which occurred in Bolton, was ruled an accident.
Graves' fatal act of courage happened in May, moving her family to pay public tribute.
“Dawn was a loving and caring daughter, mum and fiancée," her relatives said in a statement published by the Manchester Evening News at the time. "...We have been left devastated and in complete shock by Dawn’s death."
Rachel Bell was a witness to the accident and, according to The Daily Mail, told the inquest she saw Graves step off the curb, fiddling with a bag as she pushed the stroller. Next, Bell watched Graves shove the stroller out of harm's way before she fell to the ground. The truck was estimated by another onlooker to be traveling at about 5 miles per hour as it turned on the street Graves was crossing, but caused her massive injuries.
At the time of the accident s police told The Mirror, the truck driver, Eric Hamilton, said he stopped to allow a pedestrian to walk in one direction, but didn’t see Graves walking in the other.
Unaware of the impact, Hamilton was flagged down by another witness. "I was devastated," the driver said in court. "My legs were like jelly and I had to sit down."
The stroller had fallen sideways and Aidan crawled out crying, according to The Mirror. He was scooped up and taken to a hospital with minor head injuries.
Other testimony reported by This Is Lancashire says that Graves was hoping to find work and looking forward to her August wedding when the unthinkable accident occurred.
"I believe what happened was horrific for the witnesses," Walsh, the coroner, said at the inquest. "Dawn suffered unsurvivable injuries."