Berkshire

Sunninghill crash: Driver had taken drugs before killing two men

Max Coopey Image copyright INS
Image caption A "panicked" Max Coopey rang his father after the crash, the inquest heard

The son of a police officer who ran over and killed two men had taken a mix of opiates and cannabis, an inquest heard.

John Shackley, 61, and Jason Imi, 48, died after being hit by Max Coopey in Sunninghill, Berkshire, in August 2018.

Reading Coroner's Court heard traces of the drugs were found afterwards in the 18-year-old's blood.

Mr Coopey, from Ascot, told the inquest he had smoked cannabis about five hours before the crash.

Coroner Alison McCormick concluded the deaths were the result of a road traffic collision.

Giving evidence, Mr Coopey said he had taken codeine for a cough, but had not had any that day, and he did not think he was under the influence of cannabis.

Image copyright INS
Image caption John Shackley died in the crash, along with Jason Imi

The inquest heard Mr Shackley, from south Yorkshire, and Mr Imi, from Surrey, both worked in sales with Computacenter and were returning to the Royal Berkshire Hotel from a group dinner when they were hit while crossing the road.

In a statement read in court, their manager Jeffrey Wakeling described hearing a loud thump, "like a deer being hit by a car", and looked back to see his two colleagues lying on the ground.

Mr Coopey's father Russel, a serving police officer, said in a statement he had lent his son his Audi on condition he returned by midnight.

At about 23:30 BST he received a call from his "panicking" son, who said: "Someone ran in front of me and I hit them. I think they may be dead."

Max Coopey told the inquest it was "very dark" as he travelled at about the 50mph speed limit and he only saw the two men after coming out of a dip in the road.

Image copyright INS
Image caption Jason Imi, pictured with wife Sarah, was returning from a group meal when he was killed

He said the pair must have seen him approaching, but they "continued towards the middle of the road".

Mr Coopey said he "slammed my brakes ... from the time I saw them until the car stopped", but the Audi still hit them.

The coroner said she would be sending a report to Highways England about the lack of streetlights and there only being one footpath where the crash happened.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The crash happened on London Road in Sunninghill in August 2018

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