Young dad died after crashing car into railway bridge wall

A young dad died after losing control of his car and crashing into a wall, a coroner has ruled.

Andrew Brown was driving a Honda Civic along Milnhay Road, Langley Mill, when his vehicle hit a railway bridge wall just before midnight on February 10, 2017.

The severely injured 23-year-old, of Kirk Hallam, was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where his condition deteriorated and he suffered a stroke and brain damage.

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His family had to make the heart-wrenching decision to allow the hospital to turn off his life-support machine on February 15.

Derby and Derbyshire Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Brown had been drinking alcohol before the crash and was over the legal drink-drive limit with 90mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

PC Lee Simpson, from the collision investigation unit for Derbyshire police, said the vehicle hit the wall at an estimated 42mph.

However, he said it is likely the car had been travelling at a higher speed through the 30mph zone prior to losing control on a gentle bend, mounting the pavement and crashing.

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There was no evidence to suggest a seatbelt had been worn and officers could not find any brake or skid marks on the road or grass verge, he added.

The inquest heard that Mr Brown had been taking anti-depressant medication following a break-up with the mother of his child, Rebecca Vickers, in January 2017. Miss Vickers said he had threatened to hurt himself on several occasions.

On the night of his death, the pair had been talking about their relationship and Miss Vickers said it seemed he had “come to terms” with the break-up.

However, after a night out with friends, he phoned his ex-girlfriend several times and drove to her home unannounced.

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She said: “He was upset because I wouldn’t talk to him. I asked his mum to come and collect him but she couldn’t so I told him to go home.”

Around 15 minutes later, Mr Brown’s vehicle crashed into the wall.

Detective Constable Lauren Siddall, of Derbyshire police, told the court she did not believe the crash was deliberate.

She added: “He left his ex-partner’s address upset, exceeded the speed limit excessively and was over the drink-drive limit. It resulted in a loss of control and he was unable to negotiate the road safely.”

Deputy coroner Louise Pinder returned an accidental death verdict.

- This story first appeared in the Derby Telegraph.