Young drivers not immortal, says coroner, after drink-drive death of Barnard Castle area man

A CORONER said young men needed to realise they were not “immortal” after a 27-year-old driver was killed when he lost control of his car on a country road after drinking.

Matthew Scott, aged 27, of School House, Forest in Teesdale, Barnard Castle, had two-and-a-half times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. He had met up with friends in Kirkby Stephen before going on to Brough Rugby Club and then a nightclub.

He was last seen around 2.30am on December 27 last year, the inquest at Kendal County Hall was told yesterday (Tuesday, December 18).

Forensic collision expert, PC Diane Bowman, said there had been no witnesses and Mr Scott had been alone in the car.

But from evidence at the scene she was able to say he had lost control while coming out of a steep bend on the B6276, near Brough, towards Middleton in Teesdale.

He had hit the grass verge and collided with a boulder which threw the black Ford Fiesta into the air.

It had flown in a barrelling roll and landed upside down on its roof on a gate-post in a dry-stone wall.

Dr May Jenkins, who carried out the post mortem examination, said Mr Scott had died instantaneously from a broken neck and multiple injuries. Blood analysis showed 201 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit for driving is 80.

PC Bowman said there were no other mechanical, medical or weather factors.

There is no evidence of how fast Mr Scott was going, but she said he must have been travelling quite fast for the car to have become airborne on collision with the boulder.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Ian Smith said: “He had been drinking and was driving faster and with less care than if he had not been drinking.

“He was driving badly while affected by alcohol and paid a very heavy price indeed.

“Young men driving cars can think they are immortal. Unfortunately, very often they come to grief as Matthew Scott did.”

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