Death smash man made no effort to stop

Scene when Jeffrey Martin crashed a car into the sea wall at Starr Gate
Scene when Jeffrey Martin crashed a car into the sea wall at Starr Gate
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The mother of a man who told police he had a deadly super-bug days before crashing a car into the sea wall today said her son “could not find peace.”

Jeffrey Martin’s family say they hope to draw a line under the tragedy after being told at an inquest he was not infected with MRSA – despite him informing police about the disease the week before his death.

The 38-year-old, of Balmoral Terrace, Fleetwood, drove a stolen car at speed into the sea defences at Starr Gate, South Shore, on June 1, making no effort to brake or swerve.

He was not wearing a seat belt and suffered multiple injuries, later dying in Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The inquest heard pathologist Dr Mark Sissons had been unable to find any medical condition that would have led to Mr Martin’s death.

The family asked whether the factory worker was infected with MRSA and were told by the coroner’s officer that it had not shown up in any tests.

His mother, Maureen Todd, said: “It is a shame he could not find peace in his life – I tried everything for him.”

Mr Martin had appeared at court the week before his death for threatening behaviour. It was reported in court he had been diagnosed with MRSA and Mr Martin felt his physical problems were effecting his mental health.

Security staff at court were forced to wear special protective clothing because of his alleged condition.

His brother, Stephen Todd, said: “It was reported he had a life-threatening bug but there was nothing. We want people to know he didn’t have MRSA. People had been worrying.”

The inquest yesterday heard Mr Martin was almost twice the legal limit for alcohol and used heroin and cannabis several hours before he died.

Coroner Alan Wilson recorded a narrative verdict, adding Mr Martin’s actions may have been a cry for help.

He said: “Mr Martin drove a motor vehicle into a wall intending to collide with it.”

Car’s tyres screeched as it accelerated at sea wall

The inquest heard Jeffrey Martin had a history of violence and became aggressive as police officers came to his aid while he was trapped in the black Daewoo Lanos.

He sat in the car for around two hours at Starr Gate before driving straight at the sea wall.

Witnesses reported his tyres were spinning and screeching as he set off.

PC Philip Walker said: “The driver must have accelerated pretty harshly. I can estimate he was travelling 30 to 40mph.”

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