North East Wales

Didier Chupeau seven times over limit in fatal A55 crash

A former pub landlord was almost seven times over the drink-drive limit when he drove his car into a stationary lorry, an inquest was told.

It is not known why Didier Chupeau of Caergwrle, near Wrexham, drank so much as he did not approve of drink-drivers.

French-born Mr Chupeau, 56, died in the crash on a lay-by on the A55 near Northop Hall in Flintshire last August.

North Wales East and Central Coroner John Gittins recorded a conclusion of death from a road traffic collision.

The inquest in Ruthin heard father-of-three Mr Chupeau was found to have 534 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, the legal limit being 80.

David Ogden from Rhyl, who had been heading westwards along the A55, told police how he saw Mr Chupeau's car ahead of him travelling at an estimated 50-60mph.

Royal Mail worker

Without any indication or braking, he simply drove into the lay-by and collided with the rear of the lorry.

Mr Chupeau, a Royal Mail worker who was formerly licensee of the Red Lion in Hope, near Wrexham, was not wearing a seatbelt.

"It was as if the driver had not noticed the truck," Mr Ogden said.

Mr Dupeau's partner Nerys Wyn Jones told the coroner that she had no idea where he was going or why he had drunk so much.

She said he was not a regular drinker and had been behaving perfectly normally in the days and hours leading up to his death.

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