Inquest on road-death victim

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A MAN who was killed as he crossed the road was nearly three times over the legal alcohol limit for driving.

Brian Ainscough had also taken heroin and diazepam before he was struck by a car driven by Carl Morris, an inquest heard.

Forensic scientist Emma Durkin said the combination of drink and drugs in Mr Ainscough’s system could have impaired his balance and his ability to judge oncoming traffic.

Mr Ainscough, 30, of Wordsworth Avenue, Wheatley Hill, was killed on July 5, last year, as he attempted to cross the B1279 road between Wheatley Hill and Shotton Colliery.

Mr Morris, 20, of Shinwell Crescent, Thornley, told the hearing he was on his way to work at just before 3pm when Mr Ainscough stepped into the 60mph speed limit road.

The inquest heard Mr Ainscough had used a short cut

Collision investigator Pc Michael Baxter said: “Mr Ainscough was thrown about 40 metres, and I calculate an impact speed of between 49mph and 52mph.”

North Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle said: “From the evidence, it is impossible to draw any other conclusion than this was an accident.”

Verdict: accidental death.

l Carl Morris is charged with causing a death while driving a Citroen Picasso for which he was not insured.