WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND — A woman listened to her ex-husband crash his car and die while they were talking on his mobile phone, an inquest heard today.

Elizabeth Baker was talking to her former husband Jonathan, 39, on his way home at 2am when she heard the line go silent. She listened helplessly as another car pulled up and a man said: "Come on mate, stay with us and we'll get you out of there."

After the crash the phone sounded as if it was "under water".

Mrs Baker told the inquest: "I was getting more and more frantic and shouted 'John' but nobody heard me." The hearing heard Mr. Baker phoned his ex-wife twice before the fatal call as he drove home to Devizes, Wiltshire, last March. He lost control near the village of Sixpenny Handley. Mrs Baker, of Swanage, Dorset, said after the crash the phone sounded as if it was "under water."

Wiltshire coroner David Masters, recording an accidental death verdict, said: "This points up the risk of using a mobile phone without a hands-free facility while driving."