Drink and drug driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt were all factors in the ‘utter devastation’ of a crash that killed three people near Mansfield just before Christmas last year.
Alan Dexter, Ricky Goodall and Teresa Mitchell were all killed when her BMW swerved on to the wrong side of the road in Debdale Lane, Mansfield Woodhouse, at around 9.50pm.
The inquest into their deaths concluded that Mitchell, 38, was twice over the drink drive limit, had taken drugs and was travelling in excess of 80mph in a 40mph zone.
Her car collided with Alan Dexter, 47, who was riding his motorcycle in the opposite direction.
Mr Dexter’s son Jonathan thanked the witnesses and police and made an impassioned plea in the court for people not to drink and drive.
He said: “I’ve lost my father, a good man, as a result of this crash. It is totally unacceptable to be drinking alcohol and then driving. Please don’t do it, don’t leave another family in this situation.”
The BMW also hit a Ford Ranger pick-up, which was travelling behind the motorcycle, leaving the 29-year-old driver with serious, life altering injuries.
Ricky Goodall, 24, was in the back seat of the BMW at the time of the crash. He was not wearing a seatbelt and collided with Mitchell’s driver’s seat upon impact – leaving both with fatal injuries.
DS James Greely said: “I’ve worked in crash investigation for eight years and this is one of the worst crash scenes I have ever witnessed. It was utter devastation - caused by the dangerous and illegal driving of Mitchell, in what were bad weather conditions. This crash, sadly, shows again the role of the Fatal Four in horrific road collisions. Had drink and drug driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt not been involved the outcome could have been very different.
“I can’t say it clearly enough – do not take drugs, do not drink alcohol if you are planning to drive and always wear your seatbelt. It could save your life and save you from the devastation that is being faced daily by the families of those involved in this crash.”
Coroner Máirín Casey concluded that Teresa Mitchell and Ricky Goodall died in a collision and Alan Dexter was unlawfully killed.
She said: “I find that from the time Ms Mitchell sat behind the wheel of her car intending to drive, she was engaging in a dangerous act without regard to her own safety, the safety of her passengers, or indeed anyone in her path.
“The manner of her driving was such that to all those who observed it on that evening, it was inherently dangerous. I find that any objective reasonable, responsible and sober person would inevitably realise that her act of driving was likely to cause serious harm or death. I find that it is probable that due to the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, Ms Mitchell and her passengers may well have been incapacitated and unable to appreciate this fact.”