Death crash man had been drinking

A verdict of accidental death has been recorded at the inquest of a 54-year-old man who was killed in a head-on collision after initially driving on the wrong side of the road.

The hearing was told that at the time of his death, John Handley had three times the legal level of alcohol in his system.

Mr Handley, of Cuckoo Hill, Bures, died from multiple injuries while driving a Suzuki Wagon R on the B1508 at West Bergholt on February 13, Chelmsford Coroners Court heard.

An oncoming Audi A4 moved into the wrong lane to avoid a collision but Mr Handley moved the car back causing the crash, said investigating officer Pc Stephen Burton.

Pc Burton said he attended the scene and found various marks from the collision.

He continued: “Mr Handley was initially on the wrong side of the road and the other driver appeared to try to avoid him by moving into other lane.”

Coroner’s Officer Simon Oakley said Mr Handley had been drinking heavily before the collision and that pathologist Dr David Rouse gave the cause of death as multiple injuries, with a blood alcohol reading of 269 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Michelle Brown said: “Alcohol has clearly played a part in the tragic death of Mr Handley.”