The young driver of a car, killed after smashing head-on with a taxi, had been drinking and was wanted by police at the time, an inquest has heard.
Mr Shane Maughan (20) of Sutton, St Helens, was killed instantly when his Ford Mondeo crashed into an oncoming taxi in Manchester Road, Burnley, in the early hours of November 7th last year.
The taxi driver and two passengers suffered significant injuries as a result of the accident.
An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard how a description of the Mondeo had been circulated as wanted by the police following an incident in the Accrington area earlier that night.
Pathologist Dr Richard Prescott, who conducted a post-mortem, found that Mr Maughan had died instantly from a broken neck. Toxicology tests showed an above the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.
PC John Cuthbertson told the inquest he was travelling in his dog unit van when the Mondeo passed him at “excessive speed” on Rossendale Road minutes before the accident.
The officer then witnessed the Mondeo overtake a car stopped at traffic lights at the Rossendale Road junction with Manchester Road before turning left.
PC Jason Colclough, of the police collision investigation unit, said: “The Mondeo was half on the central reservation and half on the wrong side of the road after the accident. Evidence suggests the driver was not wearing a seatbelt and that the headlights were off. I estimate the speed at which the Mondeo was travelling was between 42-45mph on Manchester Road and between 30-35mph at the time of impact with the taxi.”
East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision, and offered his sympathies to all involved.