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Car crash rugby star was over the limit
9:10am Thursday 21st June 2012 in News
AN international rugby player had been drinking and had traces of cocaine in his system when his car crashed into a tree.
Swinton Lions forward Jonathan Wilson was found dead in his Fiat Punto on September 4 last year by George Broadbent in the back garden of his home in Forshaws Lane, Burtonwood.
Warrington Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday how the 28-year-old former Cook Island international, who was known as Dana, had been drinking at a wedding reception the evening before.
His neighbour Elaine Case said: “I didn’t even know he had his car there. I asked him if he wanted a lift home because it was raining.”
The dad-of-three, who lived in Newton, decided to drive and at some point collided with the tree.
He was only discovered the following morning when Mr Broadbent woke up.
Describing the moment, he said: “I rushed out to the car and found there was a person inside. I checked his pulse and there wasn’t any.”
Vehicle and road inspections showed no sign of attempts to break or correct steering before impact with the tree.
PC Kevin Sweeney, a collision inspector for Cheshire Police, said the car would have been travelling between 32mph and 53mph when the crash happened on Lumber Lane, which has a 30mph limit.
Toxicology reports showed Mr Wilson was over the legal drink drive limit with 110mg of alcohol for every 100ml of blood – the legal limit is 80mg. There were also traces of cocaine in his system.
Mr Wilson had represented New Zealand at under-16 and under-18 level before switching allegiance to the Cook Islands, where his parents were born, playing in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
He came to England in 2005 playing for Oldham, Leigh and Halifax before joining Swinton two years ago.
His wife Kirsten told the court he did not drink much due to his career and she had no knowledge of him taking drugs.
Jean Harkin, assistant deputy coroner for Cheshire, ruled Mr Wilson’s death was accidental and he died of a head injury.