A new father was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he lost control of his car and ploughed down a railway embankment into a tree.
Andris Liepa, 28, had been celebrating the birth of his child and the New Year with alcohol and also a cannabis-type substance when he got into his car – a silver Lexus – in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
After losing control near to Kirkham and Wesham railway station, the car clipped the kerb and crashed through a hedge on to an embankment on Station Road.
The car was in the air when it struck a large tree before crashing to the ground at around 7.20am.
Mr Liepa, a Latvian national who did not have a driving licence, broke his neck in the crash.
He would have been killed instantly, Blackpool Coroners’ Court heard.
Mr Liepa, of Meadow Park, Wesham, was seen in the area driving erratically at speeds of up to 50mph before the crash, in which his two passengers were injured – one seriously.
In a statement, witness Grint Grigorjevs, said he saw the car try to negotiate a left hand bend as it lost control and crashed through the hedgerow.
Giving evidence at the inquest, held at Blackpool Town Hall yesterday, Eriks Strelis, said he saw the car in a wooded area after the incident.
He said he tried to resuscitate Mr Liepa, who was flung from the vehicle and landed six feet away, but said he knew he was dead.
Crash investigators say the car was travelling at 30mph to 40mph as it flew through the air, having already skidded and hit a kerb and the hedge.
Concluding that Andris Liepa died an accidental death, Blackpool and Fylde’s assistant coroner Christopher Beverley has given a stark warning against driving while drunk, without wearing a seat belt and at excessive speeds. He said: “It is abundantly clear that so much of this could have been avoided. We are fortunate we are not dealing with an inquest into three deaths. “To me, the ultimate tragedy is that this man became a father the day before he died.”