World Politics

Two men died instantly when Porsche hit tree at 119mph

A driver who was twice over the limit crashed a Porsche into a tree at 119mph, killing him and his friend instantly.

Paul Kenneth Corness and John Roberts-Jones, both 27, died when the Cayman crashed into the tree at the side of the A525 in Denbigh at around 10.45pm on on April 21 2018.

Collision investigator Gordon Saynor told an inquest in Ewloe it was “a scene of devastation” and the worst damage to a vehicle he had seen in more than 40 years.

Crash

Mr Corness, a salesman, and factory worker Mr Roberts- Jones, were heading towards Ruthin when the car went out of control and veered across the 60mph limit road.

Dashcam footage from coach driver Carolyn Thomas, who was driving passengers home on the A525, showed his vehicle going through debris strewn across the road.

A second police collision investigator, Emma Dainty, said in her opinion the collision was “due to the actions of Paul Corness driving at grossly excessive speeds while under the influence of alcohol”.

Toxicology tests revealed Mr Corness, of Llys Gwydyr, Denbigh, was nearly twice the legal driving limit, and Mr Roberts-Jones, of Bryn Dedwydd, Denbigh, had three times the limit in his system.

Crash

There was also evidence of cocaine in his bloodstream.

Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rogers said the pair would have died instantly, and the injuries were consistent with Mr Corness having been driving at the time.

The inquest heard, the two had met up with a group of friends at the Con Amachi restaurant, in Denbigh, earlier in the evening. The friends reported the pair were in good spirits and “enjoying themselves” before they left.

Questions were asked about the brakes on the Porsche, after an advisory note was placed on a front one after an MOT in 2016.

Police vehicle examiner Peter Jones said it wouldn’t have affected the car’s ability to brake, but would cause it “to judder”.

He said the high performance car had been split into three when it struck the tree and the speedometer was stuck at 110mph, although that was unreliable.

“The damage was catastrophic,” he said.

Coroner for North Wales East and Central, John Gittins, concluded their deaths were due to a road traffic collision “which was contributed to by the vehicle being driven at excessive speed while under the influence of alcohol”.

He said the families would still have questions about what happened.

“This is a huge and tragic loss for you all,” Mr Gittins said.

“You have all lost people that you loved and cared for.”

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