A two year old girl who died when the car she was in rolled into the River Teifi was left alone for just two minutes, an inquest has heard.
Kiara Moore, who was just days away from her third birthday, was found inside the car by divers in March this year.
It’s thought she drowned within 30 seconds of entering the water.
Kiara had been left on a slipway in Cardigan, outside her parents’ adventure business.
The car, a silver Mini, had been parked outside the building all day, before Kiara’s mother Kimberly Rowlands put her daughter in the vehicle.
Ms Rowlands then went back into the building to retrieve cash from a safe box after her bank card snapped.
CCTV from a nearby pub showed it took her two minutes and one second to return to the car.
By then it had already rolled in to the river.
Today’s inquest heard a statement from PCSO Carol Griffiths, who was on the scene and helped retrieve Kiara from the car.
She broke down in court as she described pulling the two-year-old’s body from the “freezing” river, in an attempt to save her.
The inquest was told the car was found in third gear with the handbrake completely disengaged and the keys in the ignition.
The car had been serviced regularly and Kiara’s father Jet Moore said he couldn’t recall any issues with it.
Giving evidence at today’s inquest Sergeant Shane Davies, Senior Forensic collision investigator at Dyfed Powys Police said he believes Ms Rowlands may have been preparing to drive off before leaving the car for the last time. He said he was unable to say whether the car had been left without its handbrake on, or whether Kiara had accidentally released it herself while moving in the car.
Coroner Peter Brunton recorded a verdict of misadventure. The cause of Kiara’s death was given as immersion.
Following the inquest, Kiara’s family released a tribute describing her as “an amazing little girl who lived a life full of love and adventure with her close and extended family”.