Alcohol and speed involved in fatal crash, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 13:23 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:54 16 November 2019

Floral tribues were left at the scene of the fatal accident on the B1145 at Cawston, Norfolk. Picture: ARCHANT

Floral tribues were left at the scene of the fatal accident on the B1145 at Cawston, Norfolk. Picture: ARCHANT


A man who died when his car crashed into railings was travelling at almost twice the speed limit and had alcohol in his system, an inquest has heard.

Peter Bruce, 53, died in the single-vehicle accident in High Street, Cawston, when he was attempting to come around a bend in the road.

The gardener and glazer, who lived in New Street, Cawston, was driving his Mercedes when the crash happened just before 8.40pm on Sunday, May 19.

His partner, Dorothy Amos, who was 53 at the time, was sitting in the passenger seat, and she suffered broken ribs and bruises to the back of her arms.

Area coroner Yvonne Blake said at Norwich Coroner's Court on Friday that the car was moving towards Aylsham and had just come out of a 60mph zone into a 30mph zone when the driver lost control and hit a wooden fence on the right-hand side of the road.

Ms Blake said: "The vehicle collided with a wooden fence, then rotated clockwise and hit metal railings on the other side of the road.

"The collision happened as the vehicle negotiated the left-hand bend."

Several people, including a woman who was looking after horses in a field nearby, rushed to the site of the crash, and found Ms Amos in the passenger seat, calling for help, the inquest heard.

An ambulance crew and police were also soon on the scene.

Ms Amos later said she could not remember anything from the day of the crash, the inquest heard, apart from sitting "bolt upright" after it happened, looking towards Mr Bruce.

Mr Bruce was found to have had 172 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, the inquest was told. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. His blood also contained cannabinoids.

Police calculated the car had been moving at around 58mph at the time of the crash.

The medical cause of death was given as a head injury, caused by a road traffic collision, and Ms Blake gave a 'short-form conclusion' of road traffic accident.

She said: "I think it can be said that alcohol contributed to the accident. It may not be the only factor, because speed could be a factor as well."

After the crash, floral tributes were left at the scene.

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