Driver was five times over limit

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

A man killed after driving into the back of a lorry on the A697 was five times over the drink drive limit.

Mark McKinney, 40, from Netherwitton, was seen overtaking vehicles at 95mph just moments before the collision.

It happened on April 1, some 300 metres south of Weldon Bridge between Longframlington and Longhorsley.

An inquest in Berwick heard that Mr McKinney, a joiner, was travelling southbound at around 4.50pm when the collision occurred. The incident was captured on the in-car CCTV system of a car he had just overtaken.

Mr McKinney’s Kia Optima crashed into the rear of a Scania lorry and trailer carrying 14 tonnes of timber. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

A front seat passenger in the car, George Richardson, was flown to Newcastle RVI but escaped with minor injuries.

In a statement, Mr Richardson revealed that he and Mr McKinney had been drinking at three pubs in the area.

A post-mortem toxicology report showed Mr McKinney’s had a blood/alcohol reading of 411mg/100ml blood.

Police were able to use the CCTV footage to estimate that Mr McKinney was travelling at 95mph when overtaking and 58mph when he hit the back of the lorry.

PC David Martin said: “It’s clear from witness and CCTV evidence that the vehicle has been travelling far in excess of the speed limit.”

Tony Brown, senior coroner for north Northumberland, said: “By getting behind the wheel of a motor car after consuming alcohol, Mr McKinney caused severe risk to himself resulting in his own death and was a danger to his passenger and other road users.”

He recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure.