AN uninsured drunk driver was two-and-a-half-times over the legal limit when he was killed in a smash last Christmas.
Matthew Scott, 27, of Forest in Teesdale, had been out with friends on Boxing Day in Kirkby Stephen and Brough when he attempted to drive home sometime after 3am on December 27. At around 6am his car was found on the B6727 by a passing truck driver.
An inquest in Kendal heard that he had been travelling towards Teesdale when he failed to negotiate a 90-degree bend in the road, which was not lit.
Although there were no witnesses to the crash – in which his was the only car involved – police believe the black Ford Fiesta travelled seven metres off the road before hitting a boulder in the grass verge.
The car ricocheted off the boulder and spun through the air, landing upside down on a large gate post.
A post-mortem revealed Mr Scott died instantaneously from a fracture to the base of his skull and multiple other injuries.
His blood was later tested by a pathologist and 100mls was found to contain 201mg of alcohol. The legal limit is 80mg.
PC Diane Bowden, from Penrith, who investigated the site after the crash, revealed that there had been no other adverse conditions that could have caused the crash – and put it down to alcohol consumption, fatigue and inapproporiate steering on behalf of Mr Scott.
Ruling a verdict of accidental death, coroner Ian Smith described it as “fortunate” that Mr Scott had been in the car alone.
He added: “Young men believe they’re immortal and very often come to grief.”