Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flat Tyre May Have Led to Driver's Death; Coroner's Son Killed in Crash at High Speed

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flat Tyre May Have Led to Driver's Death; Coroner's Son Killed in Crash at High Speed

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Mullen

ACORONER'S son was killed in a high-speed car crash on a rain-lashed road, an inquest heard.

Aidan Tweddle, 21, died when his Subaru Impreza spun out of control and hit several trees on the A167 dual carriageway south of Durham.

Mr Tweddle, son of County Durham coroner Andrew, had collected his sister, Alison, who had been shopping in Newcastle, before driving south towards the family home in Crook.

It is thought a flat tyre caused him to lose control as he rounded a corner in driving rain, forcing the car to mount a central reservation before slamming into trees at the side of the road.

Unusually, no post-mortem examination was ordered by Newcastle coroner David Mitford, who said it was not appropriate "in the circumstances".

Mr Tweddle, a former pupil at Durham's St Leonard's RC School, was convicted of drugs offences in 2006 after a court heard he had run up a three-figure drug debt.

He was found to have blown cash from a trust windfall on smoking cannabis and experimenting with hard drugs, and became involved in cannabis dealing.

But there was no suggestion drugs or alcohol played any part in the car crash that killed him.

Mr Tweddle's father did not attend the hearing at Newcastle Civic Centre yesterday, where coroner Mr Mitford recorded a verdict of accidental death.

PC Ian Haigh, of Durham Constabulary's collision investigation unit, told the inquest damage to the car suggested it had been travelling at a high speed at the time of the crash, which happened on the evening of November 20, 2007.

But he added a lack of tyre tracks on the wet stretch of road made calculating the car's exact speed problematic.

PC Haigh said: "What I would say - due to the extent of the damage - it would indicate to me that it would have collided with the trees at a substantial speed. A high speed, I would say."

However, a short statement from Mr Tweddle's 17-year-old sister Alison, who survived the crash, revealed she didn't think her brother was speeding on the 70mph road. …

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