A DRIVER had taken drink and drugs before he was killed in a smash which also claimed the life of another man.
Jay McCormick died when the Suzuki Swift he was driving hit a lampost and ploughed into three cars parked on the driveway of a house in Washington.
The 19-year-old, who moved to the North East from Scotland with mum Deborah, dad Henry and sister Lauren 17 years earlier, suffered massive head injuries in the crash in September.
He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, but died a short time later.
Passenger Jonathan Cruddas-Ginks, of Kimberley, Washington, was rushed to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, but also died five days later.
An inquest into the pair’s death heard the car was travelling at more than 53mph shortly before the accident, which took place just before 9pm on September 9 last year.
It is thought Mr McCormick, of Pinewood Avenue, Harraton, lost control of the car and smashed into a Vauxhall Corsa, Fiat Punto and BMW Z3, which were parked on a driveway in Ashdale, Mount Pleasant.
The roof of the Suzuki was ripped off and it landed on the Corsa, forcing firefighters to cut free the two fatally-injured men and two other passengers.
Collision investigation officer Pc David Martin told the hearing in Sunderland about the devastating state the Suzuki was left in.
He said: “There were numerous amounts of severe damage to the vehicle.
“I don’t think there was a panel on the vehicle that was not damage by the collision.”
PC Martin added that it was not possible to calculate exactly how fast the car was going at the time of the crash.
“There is no physical evidence that we could use to calculate the speed of the vehicle itself, but we can use certain base calculations to conclude a critical speed for the bend itself, which is 53 mph,” he said.
“Beyond that, the car would go out of control.
“The vehicle must have been travelling in excess of 53 mph.”
He concluded: “Jay McCormick had been under the influence of alcohol and drugs and had attempted to negotiate the right-hand bend of Station Road at speed and had lost control of the vehicle.”
Coroner Derek Winter did not reveal exact details of how much alcohol and drugs Mr McCormick had consumed before the deadly smash.
But he confirmed they would have had an affect on his driving skills.
He recorded a verdict of accidental death for both men, adding: “It seems inescapable from the evidence I have heard that there were a number of factors which have had an influence on the accident, which took place on September 9, and it seems to me that the fatal combination of excessive speed and the influence of alcohol and drugs and the events which took place on that evening leading to this double tragedy.”
Speaking after the hearing, Jonathan’s mother Beverley praised her 23-year-old son, who helped save the life of a patient after becoming a kidney donor.
Talking about Jonathan, who would have celebrated his 24th birthday today, said: “It does not get any easier. I like to think of the good he has done with the organ donation and I am fund-raising for the hospital.”