A DRIVER who died in a crash at Bull Hill was three times the legal drink-drive limit and had taken cocaine, an inquest was told.
The inquest at Blackburn Coroner’s Court yesterday heard the accident happened in the early hours of Sunday, April 15, when 26-year-old Jack Eatock’s BMW hit the crash barrier and spun across the road into a wall.
Mr Eatock, who was driving towards Egerton, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
The inquest heard the electrician, from Astley, Manchester, and his friend, Timothy Berry, had been out drinking on the Saturday night before going to Mr Berry’s girlfriend’s in Egerton.
At 2am, it was decided to go out to buy more alcohol at the petrol station near Mayfield Flats in Darwen.
Coroner Michael Singleton asked Mr Berry: “After you had bought the alcohol and headed back to Egerton, what happened?”
Mr Berry replied: “Jack had bought some cigarettes and was messing around in the door looking for a lighter.
“When we got to Bull Hill, he sped up as it was open road. He didn’t have his seatbelt on as he was still mucking about in the door.As he went round the bend he slid into the barrier, then the car spun round and his side hit the wall.
“The door opened, I don’t know if he opened it or if it was just the impact. Jack came out of the car and I carried on about 300 or 400 yards.”
PC Graham Waring said he was called to the scene at 2.50am. He noticed a number of items strewn across the road.
He told the inquest: “I checked the immediate area and when I looked over the road on the Bolton-bound side, I saw the body.”
A post-mortem examination by pathologist Mohammed Aslam found the death was caused by fatal head injuries and that Mr Eatock was almost three times the legal limit for alcohol and had taken cocaine.
Senior accident investigator PC Richard Roberts also told the inquest the car could have been travelling at up to 90mph, where the speed limit is 50mph.