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Overtaking manoeuvre by disqualified driver under influence of drink and drugs led to fatal crash, coroner says

A fatal crash near the Legoland roundabout in Windsor happened after a disqualified driver who had been drinking and taken drugs attempted an ‘inappropriate’ overtaking, an inquest heard.

John Spicer, of Blenheim Road, Slough, was driving his partner Amey-Mair Williams and friends Joshua Oakes and William Boardman in his silver Volkswagen Golf on Sunday, July 23, towards Windsor.

They were in Winkfield Road when he overtook a car at about 10.30pm, and, as he did so, smashed into a blue Mercedes A160 driven by Koon Yau Kwok, a 50-year-old man from Bracknell, heading in the opposite direction.

Mr Kwok was rescued from his car by emergency services but died of multiple injuries at Wexham Park Hospital later that day.

Mr Spicer, who was ejected from his seat in the crash, which rolled his car onto its roof and side, was pronounced dead at the scene. Ms Williams, Mr Oakes and Mr Boardman all survived.

The inquest at Reading Coroner’s Court yesterday (Thursday) heard how a toxicology examination of Mr Spicer’s body revealed he was more than three times over the drink-drive limit.

Traces of cannabis and cocaine were also found in his system.

Senior coroner Peter Bedford said: “Had Mr Spicer lived, he would have faced criminal proceedings.”

That would likely have been causing death by dangerous driving, he added.

The inquest heard how Mr Spicer had been drinking and taking drugs earlier in the day.

He drove to a pub in Ascot with Ms Williams and his friends to meet someone.

However, Mr Oakes, giving evidence at the inquest, insisted he would not have got into the car if he thought Mr Spicer had taken drugs.

Based on evidence provided by Kevin Spiller, a forensic collision investigator, Mr Bedford ruled that Mr Spicer had carried out an ‘inappropriate overtaking manoeuvre, performed while he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol’.

Mr Bedford said Mr Kwok’s oncoming headlights would have been more obvious to Mr Spicer had the latter been in proper control.

Mr Oakes, a passenger in the VW Golf, heard Mr Boardman, say ‘don’t do it, John, don’t do it’ before the manoeuvre.

The driver of the Mercedes C220 Mr Spicer was overtaking, Terry Cann, pulled over after the crash.

The inquest heard how Mr Cann described Mr Spicer drive up behind him ‘at speed’ before moving into the right-hand lane.

Mr Cann said there was a ‘very loud noise’ and debris went ‘everywhere’ as Mr Spicer’s car collided with Mr Kwok’s, and he and his wife Angela, in the passenger seat, called the emergency services.

Mr Spiller speculated Mr Spicer had been driving at about 70–80mph on the 60mph stretch, but emphasised that was just a suggestion and his speed could not be confirmed.

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