Medication might have been a factor in car crash which caused the death of Norfolk man
PUBLISHED: 12:42 16 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:27 19 September 2018
A 23-year-old man who died in a crash had taken medication which affected his ability to drive, an inquest has heard.
Jamie Kelly, from East Harling, died in a crash with another vehicle on Church Road, North Lopham, on January 30, this year.
The sales executive was driving along the road when his Volkswagon Polo collided with a Land Rover Freelander just after 6.35pm.
Mr Kelly died at the scene while the other driver, Peter Cook, was left with bruising and whiplash injuries.
At an inquest held in Norwich on Thursday, the coroner’s court heard evidence from Mr Cook, who said the last thing he recalled before losing consciousness in the crash was the “sound of metal”.
In a statement read on behalf of doctor Jay Williams, Mr Kelly’s GP, the inquest heard how Mr Kelly had visited his surgery on January 30.
At the appointment Mr Kelly told his GP that he had not drunk any alcohol during January, but had been buying diazepam. Dr Williams prescribed Mr Kelly diazepam and mirtazapine with instructions not to drive or operate machinery within 24 hours of taking the medication.
The inquest heard that a toxicology report found levels of alcohol in Mr Kelly’s blood and urine, as well as evidence of ketamine, paracetamol, diazepam and mirtazapine.
PC Jamie Hutchin, who compiled a collision report, said Mr Kelly’s car had sustained “catastrophic damage” in the crash. He said phone records showed that between 6.26pm and 6.32pm on January 30, Mr Kelly had either sent or received eight text messages and at 6.31pm had made a four second phone call.
He also said that packets of diazepam and mirtazapine prescribed to Mr Kelly had been found in his car following the crash, each with a tablet missing.
PC Hutchin said he believed the likely cause of the crash was the combination of alcohol and drugs which appeared to have “affected both his judgement and ability to control his vehicle”.
Mr Kelly’s medical cause of death was given as multiple traumatic injuries following a road traffic collision.
Concluding, Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, said she was satisfied that the combination of drugs found in Mr Kelly’s system would have “adversely affected his ability to drive sensibly”.