A DRIVER killed in a country road smash was repeatedly begged to slow down in the moments leading up to the tragedy, an inquest heard yesterday.
Craig Dufton, 27, was the front seat passenger in William Dalkin’s Hyundai Coupe which left the country road at high speed, ploughed through a fence and overturned 27 metres into a field at Jaw Blades Bank, Burnhope, near Lanchester, County Durham, in the early hours of September 13 last year.
Mr Dufton and his girlfriend, who was a rear seat passenger, escaped without suffering serious injuries, but Mr Dalkin was killed instantly.
An inquest into the death of the 22-year-old, of The Haven, Burnhope, held yesterday was told he died of severe head injuries.
He was over the legal drink/driving limit – tests found a reading of 116miligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg. Traces of the prescription drug, Diazepam, were also found in his system.
Mr Dufton said his friend had only had the car for a week and was driving him and his girlfriend home. He told the hearing Mr Dalkin had been drinking, but said he “seemed alright, happy”.
He added: “Just before the crash we were driving a bit fast.