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Crash victim had taken painkillers - court heard
6:00am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
AN IT manager who was taking painkillers after a workplace accident died when his car veered into oncoming traffic on Birchwood Way.
An inquest heard how David Longfield was heading to a call out in Wakefield on December 20 last year from his Belvedere Drive home in Chapelford.
But at 11.36am he collided with a Volvo lorry driven by Piotr Kiorcz and suffered multiple serious injuries.
Warrington Coroner’s Court heard on Monday how Mr Longfield had returned to work a few weeks prior to his death after he fell from a roof of one building on to another as he tried to attach wire on a job.
In that accident he suffered broken a broken wrist, ribs and fingers among other injuries.
His dad Ivor Longfield told the hearing in the weeks after the accident he had been driving his son around but the 40-year-old had been cleared to drive by doctors around three weeks before the collision.
In a toxicology report it showed Mr Longfield had 1.85mg per litre of Tramadol in his blood supply, which is classed as excessive.
He also had traces of codeine and ibuprofen consistent with recent medicinal use.
Stephen Bennett, who was driving behind the Warrington-bound lorry after it left the M62 at Junction 11, described the moments leading up to the collision.
He said: “I saw the brake lights go on. I recall hearing a massive bang which i wasn’t sure where it came from and saw debris to the right.
“The lorry wasn’t going fast because there were a number of roundabouts.”
Mr Kiorcz added that Mr Longfield did not appear to be speeding and he slammed on when he saw the Ford Focus move across into his side of the road.
Mr Longfield also had a long history of medical treatment for Crohn’s disease and previous history of epilepsy but was cleared by doctors to drive.
Nicholas Rheinberg, coroner for Cheshire, said: “It appears that the Ford Focus, for no apparent reason, crossed over its carriageway straight into the path of the Volvo lorry.
“The indication is that Mr Longford lost attention when driving.”
Mr Rheinberg ruled Mr Longford died as a result of a road traffic collision and the cause of death was multiple crash injuries and excess consumption of Tramadol a contributory factor.