School teacher killed by drink driver

A drink-driver was nearly two-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit when he collided with an oncoming car, killing the driver and himself.

Tom Potter

A drink-driver was nearly two-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit when he collided with an oncoming car, killing the driver and himself.

An inquest concluded that Matt Anderson drove at speeds of between 60 and 80mph, entering the wrong lane of a bend on the B1080, before colliding with a car driven by schoolteacher Sarah Lee.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a verdict of unlawful killing in respect of 24-year-old Miss Lee, of Bergholt Road, Colchester, who died at the scene of the collision just outside Stutton, near Brantham, on Saturday December 5.


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Miss Lee was killed when her Ford Focus collided with an Audi driven by Mr Anderson, also 24, and from Heathfield Road, Holbrook, whose death at the scene was deemed accidental by the coroner.

Miss Lee's partner, Richard Day, was a passenger in her car but suffered only minor injuries. The pair were travelling home after setting up an exhibition at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, where Miss Lee worked as an art teacher.

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Mr Day told police he had seen Mr Anderson's car travelling towards then in the wrong lane and at high speed.

Evidence from collision investigators and witness statements showed that Mr Anderson had been driving at speeds of between 60 and 80mph.

A toxicology report showed he was nearly two-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit and had earlier been asked to leave a nearby pub, after being served one pint, because of the condition he was in.

He declined the offer of a lift from friend David Easey, who later told police Mr Anderson had showed signs of suicidal desire in the days before the crash, telling him he felt like drowning himself into the Alton reservoir.

But crash investigator, Kevin Stark, said that tyre marks on the road and the position of Mr Anderson's car suggested he had not intended to cause the collision deliberately, but added that he was by law “unfit to drive through drink or drugs.”

Dr Dean agreed that evidence suggested Mr Anderson had attempted to steer the car round the bend. He told the inquest: “What happened was undoubtedly a tragedy but we are not here to determine matters of criminal or civil liability. It was something that happened by virtue of a loss of control.

“I offer my condolences to the family members and all of those affected by these sad and unexpected circumstances.”

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