Driver who died on A507 between Baldock and Buntingford was three times over limit and had cocaine in blood stream
- Credit: Archant
A popular salesman was three times over the drink-drive limit and had drugs in his system when he died in a car crash, an inquest heard this afternoon.
Jamie Horgan, a former student at The John Henry Newman School in Stevenage, was killed in a crash on the A507 between Royston and Baldock in the early hours of September 30, 2013.
He was travelling with his friend Jeremy McMurrough in Jeremy’s family car, a Vauxhall Corsa, even though he had been banned from driving for a previous drink driving offence.
The pair were on their way to Jamie’s uncle’s flat in Finsbury Park, London.
Jeremy had been driving for five minutes before Jamie took over the wheel as he knew how to get to his uncle’s flat.
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As well as being over the alcohol limit, Jamie, 28, who lived in Royston, had a mix of cocaine and MDMA – a form of ecstasy – in his bloodstream, a toxicology report found.
PC Rob Jackson, who investigated the cause of the crash, said the car may have been travelling at speeds of up to 83mph.
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The car rolled through a hedge, then turned over several times in a cornfield before landing in a track after Jamie, who died of head injuries sustained in the crash, failed to take a bend.
Coroner Edward Solomon delivered a verdict of misadventure at the Hatfield hearing.
He said: “The fact that he was three times over the legal limit was the biggest contributing factor.
“It was a mixture of excessive speed and excessive alcohol and drugs.”
He said the stretch of A507 required a degree of skill to drive, which Jamie would not have been capable of achieving in his intoxicated state.
No family members were present at the inquest, but a tribute piece published at the time of Jamie’s death was read out by the coroner.
In the tribute, the family had referred to James as a ‘massive character’ who was the ‘life and soul’ of the party.
The coroner read out a statement from Jamie’s father, who has since died.
He had said to his son earlier in the evening: “No surprises tonight, please Jamie.” He never saw his son again.