Man who died in Long Melford crash was over drink drive limit, on his phone and speeding, inquest hears

The scene of the crash in Long Melford where Shane Frost died. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

The scene of the crash in Long Melford where Shane Frost died. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL - Credit: Archant

A 25-year-old man who died in a car crash in Long Melford was driving at more than double the speed limit at almost twice the drink drive limit, while on his mobile phone with defective tyres on his car, an inquest has heard.

Flowers left at the scene in Station Road, Long Melford. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

Flowers left at the scene in Station Road, Long Melford. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL - Credit: Archant

Shane Frost, from Acton, who had only got his licence a month before, died in the early hours of Sunday, February 19, after his VW Golf left the road, went into a spin and smashed into a brick wall.

An inquest heard Mr Frost had called round a friend’s house on the evening of Saturday, February 18, bringing with him a ‘couple of bottles of cider’, although his friend said it was ‘clear he had already been drinking’.

The inquest heard that at around 1.35am on Sunday, February 19, Mr Frost was driving on Station Road when his vehicle turned sharply and left the road by the near side.

PC Jeff Cribb, forensic collision inspector, said: “With the car travelling sideways the offside collided with the wall causing a significant intrusion into the drivers side of the car.”

Mr Frost died instantly in the collision.

PC Cribb said it was estimated Mr Frost was driving between 60 and 70mph on the 30mph limit road and had used his mobile phone just two minutes before the crash was reported to police.

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A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Frost had 157mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system.

The UK drink driving limit is 80mg.

The inquest also heard Mr Frost had cannabis in his system at the time of the collision.

Mr Frost’s vehicle was found to have an under inflated rear tyre and different sized front tyres, which PC Cribb said could have affected the handling of the car.

Questions were raised whether a pothole 50ft from the scene of the collision could have been a contributing factor in the collision.

But PC Cribb said from observing traffic driving over the pothole as part of his investigation, it would not have deflected the course of Mr Frost’s vehicle, unless he had suffered a puncture.

A statement from Sgt Andy Hood, of Suffolk Roads Policing, said: “It appears Mr Frost had a disregard for the rules of the road that has cost him his life.

“There can be no doubt it is the cumulative effect of these issues that has led to the sad loss of another life on our roads.”

Assistant coroner for Suffolk Dr Dan Sharpstone concluded Mr Frost died as a result of a road traffic accident.

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