Mystery over what sparked fatal Preston carriageway accident

PUZZLE: Riversway in Preston where Chris Allen's car spun out of control and hit a lamp post, killing him instantly

PUZZLE: Riversway in Preston where Chris Allen's car spun out of control and hit a lamp post, killing him instantly

  • Christopher Allen died after his car overturned and smashed into a lamp post
  • He was killed instantly when his car left the dual carriageway in Preston
  • Mr Allen was over the drink-drive limit and had taken cannabis
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A mystery car crash which claimed the life of a 28-year-old driver may never be fully explained, an inquest heard.

Mechanic Chris Allen was killed instantly when his Rover car left a dual carriageway in Preston, overturned and smashed into a lamp post.

Taking all that into account, it is not possible for me to reach a conclusion as to why his vehicle left the road when it did

Area coroner Claire Hammond was told Mr Allen was over the drink-drive limit, had taken cannabis and was not wearing a seatbelt.

No-one saw the accident on Riversway near Preston Docks, his car had no defects and police could find nothing wrong with the road surface to cause the crash.

“Taking all that into account, it is not possible for me to reach a conclusion as to why his vehicle left the road when it did,” said the coroner before ruling the driver had “died in a road traffic collision.”

Witnesses told the hearing at Preston that Mr Allen, of Boltons Croft, Salwick near Preston, had visited a local club on the night of the accident and had just travelled from Blackpool Road into Riversway when the crash happened on a dark January night. A passing off-duty lifeboatman spotted the car upside down in bushes at the side of the road and tried to revive him.

Consultant pathologist Dr Helen Stringfellow said the cause of death was chest and abdomen injuries. They were so severe, she said, that they would have led to “sudden unconsciousness and death.”

Mr Allen had around 1.7 times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. There were traces of cannabis, but she could not say when it had been taken and what effect it would have had on his driving.

PC Richard Roberts, a senior collision investigator, estimated Mr Allen’s car may have been travelling slightly over the 50 mph speed limit at the time. He thought the driver had probably lost control and over-corrected a slide, causing the car to spin off and smash side-on into the lamp post.