Coroner: ‘Excessive speed and alcohol caused crash a mile from home’

Simon Ramsden named as man killed in Wedmore car crash.

Simon Ramsden named as man killed in Wedmore car crash. - Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

‘Excessive speed and alcohol consumption’ caused the death of a ‘doting father’ who crashed his car into a ditch just over a mile from his home.

Simon Ramsden died in the early hours of April 7 after he lost control of his Jaguar XF following an evening of drinking and playing pool in the garage of his friend Anthony Power's house.

Mr Power said: "He had about eight cans of lager and several tall glasses of gin."

"He left to drive home at about 3.50am. He was coherent and steady on his feet."

Somerset Coroners Court was told on Tuesday the 43-year-old always insisted on driving the one and half miles back to his home in Wedmore.

Mr Power added: "He could drink more than anyone else and would always drive home no matter what anyone else said."

Claire Franks, of Fir Tree Farm, was woken up at about 3.50am by a loud thud. However, after investigating the noise she could not find anything amiss.

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When Mr Ramsden's father Jeffrey awoke at about 6am and realised his son had failed to return home, he went looking for him. He found his son's car partly submerged in a ditch on Blakeway, near the farm.

Crash investigator PC James said Mr Ramsden's car was travelling at least 78mph when the victim lost control and spun across the B3151 before coming to rest in a drainage ditch.

A post-mortem report revealed Mr Ramsden died of multiple injuries and was almost two times over the drink drive limit at the time of his death.

Senior coroner Tony Williams said Mr Ramsden was 'over confident' and 'knew the risks.'

He said: "He was driving in excess of the speed limit and under the influence of alcohol."

Mr Williams concluded Mr Ramsden's death was the result of a road traffic collision.

Mr Ramsden's family paid tribute to him.

They said: "Simon was the kindest, caring and most helpful man we knew who would give you his last shilling. He doted on his lovely eight-year-old daughter, Daisy.

"He was a man in a million who touched the hearts of everybody he met."

"Simon had many talents which he excelled at and he was a good pool player, as his colleagues in the Black Widows team will attest to."

"He will be sadly missed but remembered by everyone as a lovely guy."