A SOUTH Tyneside dad died in a road crash after leaving work early to go to his son’s first school nativity play.
Scott Ineson exceeded 90mph when he doubled back on his journey probably to retrieve his mobile phone, an inquest heard.
Mr Ineson, 26, of Milton Avenue, Hebburn, lost control of his Ford Fiesta on the A689 near Bradbury services in County Durham.
He collided with a Skoda coming in the other direction.
Sergeant Simon Kestle, of the joint Cleveland and Durham Police special operations unit, told the hearing at the Coroner’s Court in Crook Mr Ineson asked to leave work early at noon on December 12, last year, to attend the play.
“He worked on the car boot sales at Sedgefield Racecourse,” said Sgt Kestle. “We have traced his journey to Bradbury services where he stopped for fuel.
“He can then be seen sitting in the car for three minutes, apparently looking for something. It later emerged he had left his mobile phone at work.
“We think it is a reasonable assumption to make that he decided to go back for it.
“CCTV shows him leaving the service area, going around the A1(M) roundabout and doubling back towards Sedgefield.”
Accident investigator PC Robin Turner told the hearing Mr Ineson reached 91mph as went under a railway bridge a few metres past the services.
“He moved to the right and touched the brakes,” said PC Turner. “The collision happened 237m further down the road.”
Driver Shiela Hingley said she was coming the other way when she became aware of the Fiesta ‘snaking’ in the other lane.
“It all happened very quickly,” said Ms Hingley. “The car swung out at right angles to me and I hit it broadside.
“I broke my heel as I jammed on the brakes.
“The bonnet of my car folded up, and I could see flames underneath.
“Very soon there were lots of helpful people around, and I think it was a lorry driver who turned up with a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.”
A post mortem examination found Mr Ineson had taken opiates and benzodiazepines.
The pathologist said the drugs could cause drowsiness and may have changed Mr Ineson’s attitude to risk.
Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle said: “I think it is likely Mr Ineson reached the petrol station, realised he had forgotten his mobile phone and decided to go back for it.
“Most of us hate being late, so he put his foot down and drove quicker than he should have done.
“The level of drugs in his system would not have helped the situation.
“When he started to lose control the other driver was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“There was nothing she could do and unfortunately Scott died.”
Mr Ineson’s parents declined to comment after the hearing.
Finding: accidental death.