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Drink-driver killed in crash after argument

A motorist killed when her car crashed and overturned after she left her home following an argument was twice the drink-drive limit, an inquest heard.


Erif Wade died of head and neck injuries after she lost control of her green Ford Ka on the A5 Gailey Island on Watling Street, Cannock in the early hours of February 22.

Cannock Coroners Court heard that the 30-year-old had problems with alcohol consumption and mental health for several years.

But just days before her death she had met with a care co-ordinator from her local health trust who said in a report she had been responding well to medication prescribed to her in relation to her mental health issues and had been to Alcoholics Anonymous sessions.

However she had consumed several bottles of alcohol on the Friday night later that week and appeared 'argumentative' after her partner Adam Locke found her to be drunk at their home in Alsager, Cheshire. She left the home and drove back twice despite pleas from her partner not to do so. But when she did it for a third time she was never to return.

In Staffordshire, Ms Wade lost control of her car which landed on its roof and it was left badly damaged with both windscreens smashed. Much of its interior was in an unrecoverable condition.

The inquest also heard how less than an hour before the accident, she reversed the wrong side of a McDonald's drive-through in Cannock causing staff to escort her back to a parking position.

Pc Robert Trow said: "The car, without reason, reversed and drove towards the drive-through lane the wrong way. The passenger side of the car was facing the wrong side of the window used for customers to buy food.

"The actions of the driver were as a result of not having any barbecue sauce with her food.

"At that time other vehicles were there and it caused somewhat of a bottleneck at the time."

Toxicology reports carried out showed the victim had a blood alcohol reading of 187 milligrams per decilitre. The drink-drive limit is 80. She also had propranolol and the anti-depressant trazodome in her system, at therapeutic levels.

Coroner Andrew Haigh said it was likely she had fallen asleep momentarily at the wheel and then over-steered causing the car to crash.

"Alcohol in my findings is one of the key factors as far as this collision is concerned. But I also have to consider being in the early hours of the morning could have played a part and caused tiredness," he said. He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

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