Road death pair over drink drive limit

TWO people who were killed in an horrific car crash were both over the legal drink-drive limit, an inquest heard.Jennifer Winton, 23, of Holly Road, Ipswich, and Phillip Cotton, 20, of Orwell Road, Ipswich, were both pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on the Shotley peninsula on August 21.

TWO people who were killed in an horrific car crash were both over the legal drink-drive limit, an inquest heard.

Jennifer Winton, 23, of Holly Road, Ipswich, and Phillip Cotton, 20, of Orwell Road, Ipswich, were both pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on the Shotley peninsula on August 21.

They had suffered fatal head injuries after a Peugeot 205 driven by Ms Winton skidded at a bend and ploughed into a road sign at the junction of the B1080 and the B1456 in Freston. Two passengers in the car survived the crash.

Tests revealed Ms Winton had 191mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood and Mr Cotton had 216mgs in 100mls of blood. The legal limit is 80mgs.


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A report by Pc Andrew Garden, police accident investigator, said although it was not clear what the exact scenario that led to the crash had been, he added: "Drink-driving is a significant issue in this incident."

Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said held yesterday's inquest in Ipswich into their deaths of Ms Winton and Mr Cotton on documentary evidence alone at the request of their families.

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He recorded verdicts of accidental death on both of them and said: "Clearly it highlights the need to use care on the road at all times and the potential dangers of raised alcohol levels to affect judgment and all the functions associated with driving."

A statement from a passenger in the car, Costas Thiakos, of Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, said Ms Winton, Mr Cotton and another friend, Joseph Rapson, had persuaded him to go to Felixstowe with them on August 21.

He added Ms Winton had been driving and he had become so concerned about her speed, harsh acceleration and braking that he persuaded everyone to put on their seat-belts.

The group stayed in Felixstowe for a while before heading to Shotley, where they parked by the waterfront and went into the Bristol Arms pub, but were asked to leave and stayed in the car playing loud music.

Mr Thiakos' statement said he could remember little after that, except for a loud bang which he presumed was the collision. He and Mr Rapson both survived the crash.

Dr Dean read out statements from other drivers on the road that night who said the red Peugeot had been driven fast and erratically, coming up close behind them and flashing its headlights before overtaking and accelerating away at speed.

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