Drink and drugs involved in fatal Cookstown road crash

The wreckage at the scene of the fatal Mothers' Day accident in Cookstown. Pacemaker

The wreckage at the scene of the fatal Mothers' Day accident in Cookstown. Pacemaker

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A 28-year-old Cookstown man killed in a road crash that also claimed the life of his passenger was over the limit and had taken illegal drugs, an inquest has heard.

Robert Wilkinson and 23-year-old Grant Matthew Archer from Newmills died after the car in which they were travelling smashed into a garden on the old Coagh Road in Cookstown at around 3.30am on Mothers’ Day [March 30] 2014.

Two factors contributed to the loss of control of the vehicle. The speed and the ability to control the car would have been affected by the use of alcohol and illicit drugs - Coroner Mr Leckey

Both suffered severe head injuries and died at the scene.

Relatives at the inquest, held at Omagh courthouse on Monday, heard how the double tragedy was caused by Mr Wilkinson’s intoxication and that the car was speeding when he lost control.

The Ulster Herald outlined how the pathologist’s report said that as well as being over the alcohol limit, the Lammy Road mechanic had also consumed ecstasy and cannabis.

The court also heard how the road surface was dry, weather conditions were good and that both men were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Summing up, Mr Leckey said: “Two factors contributed to the loss of control of the vehicle. The speed and the ability to control the car would have been affected by the use of alcohol and illicit drugs.”

Extending his “very deep” sympathy to the families of Mr Wilkinson and Mr Archer, the coroner added: “It is terrible two young men should lose their lives in the circumstances that have been described.”