A 22-year-old woman fell to her death over cliffs at Beachy Head while looking for somewhere to go to the toilet.
Faye Reed, described by her family as their “beautiful pride and joy”, stumbled over the cliff and screamed as she fell, an inquest heard this week.
The friends she was with were left devastated as police, coastguards and lifeboat crews mounted a search for her in the early hours of the morning of Monday March 25 this year.
Both the police and coastguard helicopters were called in but her body was found at the foot of cliffs.
At an inquest in Eastbourne today (Thursday), her friends Charmane Dixon and Nicole Davies said they and Faye had been passengers in a car driven by Rayan Kalhei.
They had been drinking small amounts of gin and vodka and asked Mr Kalhei to pull over near Belle Tout so they could “spend a penny”.
Charmane said, “The three of us got out of the car and started walking to find somewhere to go. It was really dark. Faye was in front of me and I heard her scream and then she was gone.”
Mr Kalhei said he was waiting in the car in a lay-by and the first he knew there had been a tragic accident was when Nicole Davies ran back to the car to tell him what had happened.
Police – PCs Kayleigh Cornwall, Jeremy Lowe and Stephen Austin – arrived at the scene to find the friends “devastated and screaming Miss Reed’s name looking for her”.
Detective Sergeant Chris Milner told the inquest that where the girls had been looking for somewhere to go to the toilet, there was only a short stretch of grass between the road and the cliff edge.
He said he found evidence that Miss Reed, who lived with her mother in May Road, Brighton, had died in a tragic accident and there were no suspicious circumstances.
A toxicology report showed Miss Reed had only drunk a small amount of alcohol that night and would have been merry as opposed to being drunk.
In a statement read out at the inquest, Miss Reed’s father Trevor Reed described his daughter as someone who lived life to the full.
He said, “It was a privilege and an honour to be her father. She was beautiful, my pride and joy. She had many friends but always came to see me. She had visited me the night before she went out with her friends.”
Mr Reed said hours later he received a telephone call from Sussex Police to say his daughter had been involved in a fatal accident.
East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said Miss Reed had died of a tragic accident.