Oxford

Fatal A424 crash driver 'drank and used cocaine'

Oxford Coroner's Court Image copyright Google
Image caption The inquest was held at Oxford Coroner's Court

A driver had used cocaine and drank a significant amount of alcohol before causing a crash that killed him and another man, an inquest has heard.

Richard Lock, 39, drove into the opposing lane on the A424 near Burford, Oxfordshire, on 9 December.

The window and door fitter had been at a wedding, where family members pleaded with him not to get into his car.

Taxi driver Khayelihle Gwala died 10 days later in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

In a statement read at Oxford Coroner's Court, Mr Lock's widow Emma said the couple had an argument at the wedding at the Bay Tree Hotel in Burford.

She assumed her husband had gone for a walk or to their room, but he had instead got into his Volkswagen Tiguan.

His brother, cousin and son had pleaded with him not to drive. She wrote: "I in no way think that Richard would've done this on purpose."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The accident happened on the A424 about half a mile north of Burford

Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham heard that Mr Lock had struggled with mental health issues, and had been given the details of alcohol and addiction services.

Forensic investigator David Watson told the inquest that Mr Lock "crossed the centre line into the opposing lane", hitting Mr Gwala's Citroen C4.

He added his alcohol and cocaine consumption would have slowed his reaction times.

He added there was no evidence that Mr Lock had been wearing a seatbelt, and he was declared dead at the scene.

South African-born Mr Gwala, 34, from Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, died of multiple organ failure, sepsis, and body trauma on 19 December.

Mr Graham concluded both men died as a result of a road traffic collision.

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