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Inquest finds crash which killed two Walsall men was an "accident"

The inquest verdict into the deaths of two Walsall 22-year-olds killed in August 2021 found the pair died because of "a road traffic accident" at high speed.

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William Craddock

A jury of seven men and five women heard three days of detailed evidence about William Craddock and driver Kaya Morrison-Taylor's deaths at Stafford County Buildings.

The foreman of the jury told Assistant Coroner Daniel Howe rear passenger Mr Craddock, known as Will, died due to traumatic chest and head injuries and driver Mr Morrison-Taylor sustained fatal head injuries.

The jury noted both men were not wearing seatbelts when the Audi S3 they were travelling in crashed into a telephone pole and four concrete posts at 3.50am on August 1, 2021, on the A460 Cannock Road, in Westcroft near Essington.

The jury's narrative verdict read: "The Audi S3 was travelling along the Cannock Road, near Essington, at a speed of 123mph in a 40mph zone.

"When the car was navigating a sweeping right bend the car suffered a total loss of traction which no driver input could correct this.

"The car left the road and collided with four concrete posts and a telephone pole."

The jury foreman added: "William Craddock, an agency factory worker, died as a result of a road traffic collision.

"Kaya Morrison-Taylor died as a result of a road traffic collision."

During the inquest the jury heard provisional licence holder Mr Morrison-Taylor, of Westbrook Avenue, Aldridge, had 144 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system. The limit is 80.

Evidence was also heard that nine deals of cocaine and crack cocaine, medical tablets used to counter steroids and small helium cannisters were found in the car.

The car's other passenger Alfie Peakman, 25, who also was not wearing a seatbelt, survived but told the inquest he had no recollection of the crash.

Police officers told the inquest all three left in the car after an assault during a disorder near Fever Nightclub, Cannock. Two firearms officers and another officer gave pursuit in two unmarked police cars. However, those closest behind did not realise the Audi had left the road in the darkness.

Assistant Coroner Daniel Howe thanked the jury for their service in the three day inquest, held at Stafford County Buildings.

He said: "Thank you for your attendance, and your service throughout this inquest."

Family members of both Mr Craddock and Mr Morrison-Taylor attended the inquest and returned to hear the verdicts.

Assistant Coroner Howe added: "And to the families, I appreciate how difficult it can be listening to total strangers discussing personal details of your loved ones."

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