Bristol canal crash pair drowned inside car, inquest hears

Road closed and police cordon near crash site at Feeder Road in Bristol
Image caption Several roads in the area were closed while police dive teams and fire crews continue to investigate the scene

Two men whose car plunged into a canal drowned after becoming trapped inside the vehicle, an inquest has heard.

Adam Clifford, 31 and Andrew Sigley, 40, died in January when the yellow Skoda Fabia sank in Bristol's Feeder Canal.

The car "collapsed" when it hit railings at the side of the water, Avon Coroner's Court heard.

Assistant coroner Terence Moore concluded both men died in a road traffic collision.

The inquest heard from three witnesses, all of whom said the car was seen speeding well over the 20mph limit on Short Street near the canal.

'Flips and somersaults'

Coroner Mr Moore said the car "collapsed" upon hitting the railings and the lower horizontal bar was weaker than the top bar.

He said: "The top bar effectively buckles the front pillars of the car, collapsing the roof down and effectively sealing the occupants in the car meaning they were unable to escape from the vehicle.

"The vehicle then flips over the rear and somersaults so it lands on its roof."

Both Mr Clifford from Sea Mills and Mr Sigley, from Worle in Weston-super-Mare died as a result of drowning.

Two passers-by jumped in the canal to try rescue the men and emergency services were also at the scene.

Mr Clifford was found to have 185mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood and traces of cannabis in his system, though it is not possible to say when he consumed the class B drug.

The legal limit is 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

Mr Sigley, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was found to have 145mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

No faults were found with the car and there were no obstructions or substances on the road which could have contributed to the crash, the inquest heard.

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