A CORONER has urged young drivers to learn from the mistakes of a father who died when he crashed a stolen car on the Promenade.
An inquest at Blackpool Town Hall heard how Andrew Lee Dickinson, was twice over the drink drive limit and travelling between 60 and 70mph on New South Promenade, South Shore, when he lost control of the convertible MG car.
A police investigation revealed the 26-year-old father-of-two crashed the vehicle when he swerved to avoid a parked Ford Mondeo shortly after overtaking a taxi as he travelled past The Solaris Centre at 6.30am on July 28 last year.
Mr Dickinson, of Cecil Street, Lytham, tried to correct the mistake but hit a car parking sign and then collided with a stanchion supporting the tramway as the momentum of the impact took him further along the road.
He died instantly and investigating officers revealed he was not wearing a seat belt.
Christopher Beverley, Blackpool deputy coroner, recorded a verdict of accidental death.
He said: “This is clearly a case of huge individual tragedy.
“This was a 26-year-old man who has left a bereaved family and two adorable children, who will not have the benefit of growing up knowing their father.
“It really was a tragedy that was bound to happen and that’s clear.
“We know this is a car that didn’t belong to Andrew.
“It had been stolen at an earlier time.
“We are aware he was driving it with unfamiliar controls and it was a sports car.
“As young people we feel invincible, but we are not, and this is clearly something which could have been avoided.
“I hope in reading about Andrew’s tragedy it may have some benefit and stop some other young man or young woman behaving in a way which is frankly destined to end up in this manner and with broken hearted family and friends.”
PC Greenwood, of the fatal road traffic accident unit, told the inquest the alcohol and supply of painkillers and anti-depressants in Mr Dickinson’s system delayed his reactions.
When he was asked by the coroner if the drugs and alcohol contributed to the collision, PC Greenwood said: “It’s possible and in my opinion they slowed the time of the reaction down.
“I believe he was travelling at around 60mph to 70mph at the time of the first collision.
“The marks close to the back of the Mondeo suggest the driver has reacted very late to that vehicle to try to avoid it and there’s no suggestion he’s tried to take avoiding action prior to these marks.
“If he hadn’t been travelling at this speed he wouldn’t have had the momentum to go a further 70 metres (after the first impact) and collide with the stanchion.”
In the wake of Mr Dickinson’s tragic death, his family issued a statement which read: “Andrew was the son of Lee and Sharon, brother of Samantha and father to two wonderful young children, aged five and three.
“He has been taken suddenly and tragically from us and we will miss him forever.
“He will never be far from our thoughts.”