A Chesterfield man who died in an horrific double fatal crash was at least twice the legal driving limit for cocaine and cannabis and was also speeding, an inquest heard.
Daniel Spooner, 30, of Wythburn Road, Newbold, the driver of a highly-modified Volkswagen Bora, died instantly after the crash on High Street, New Whittington, on the afternoon of October 22 last year.
The incident happened after he failed to negotiate a corner causing him to cross on to the opposite carriageway and crashing head-on with Michael Bradshaw, 72, who was driving a Ford C-Max.
Mr Bradshaw, of Devonshire Avenue North, New Whittington, died three days later in hospital.
Speaking at a joint inquest held at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court on Monday, assistant coroner for Derbyshire, Kathryn Hayes, said: “This case highlights the dangers of driving at speed or with drugs in your system.”
The inquest heard that unemployed Mr Spooner had bought the red Volkswagen Bora, which had been modified with a high-powered engine from a Volkswagen Golf, two days before the collision. It could not be determined whether the modifications had any effect on his handling or control of the car.
A toxicology report found Mr Spooner was at least twice the legal driving limit for cocaine and cannabis. It could not be determined exactly how high the levels were.
A police road traffic collision report found Mr Spooner was travelling at 73mph before the crash occurred. The speed limit for the road is 60mph.
His vehicle burst into flames, while Mr Bradshaw was airlifted to Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.
Both men died of multiple injuries. It was said that Mr Bradshaw could not have done anything different to avoid the crash.
A witness statement from Richard Anthony Fletcher, who was on his mountain bike at the time of the collision, was read out during the inquest.
Mr Fletcher described how he had to avoid Mr Spooner in the Bora, who was heading towards him, by braking hard - causing him to be flung over his handlebars. “I could not believe that I was alive,” his statement said.
Mr Bradshaw, known as ‘Mick’, a retired care worker, was described by his partner of 22 years, Ivy Hodkin, as a ‘kind, gentle and caring man’ who was a ‘best friend to everyone’.
Her statement said: “I am so angry that he has been taken from us.”
Mr Bradshaw’s daughter, Zoe, said her dad was a ‘wonderful’ man and a ‘gentle giant’.
Mr Spooner, who was said to have had difficulties in the past but was trying his best to overcome them, was described by his family as a ‘loving, caring, young man’ who ‘doted’ on his nephew.
Ms Hayes recorded both deaths as road traffic collision.