Minicab driver died following head-on collision with drunk driver who drove on the wrong side of the
A minicab driver died 10 days after he was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in rural Oxfordshire.
39-year-old Richard Lock, who also died from injuries sustained in the collision, had been drinking all day at a wedding when he decided to drive his car home despite pleas from his relatives.
The fatal collision took place on the A424 in the early hours of 9 December 2018.
At the inquests into the deaths yesterday, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Lock had been drinking steadily at a family member’s wedding in the Bay Tree Hotel in Burford, throughout the day before. The court heard that Mr Lock also had traces of cocaine in his system during the tragic crash that took place hours after he had been singing and playing a guitar on stage at the wedding.
It was revealed that things turned sour and Lock got into an argument with his wife before taking off in the family car. As reported in the Oxford Mail, Mr Lock was seen driving erratically out of Burford including slamming on the brakes at traffic lights and persistently clipping the grass verge as he drove towards Stow-on-the-Wold. David Watson, collision investigator, told the court that for unknown reasons, Mr Lock decided to turn the car around and head back towards Burford.
The court heard that Mr Lock lost control on a sharp left bend, due to his intoxication, and ended up on the wrong side of the road. Minicab driver Mr Gwala, was on his way back to Stow having dropped a passenger in Burford when Lock drove on the wrong side of the road heading directly for him. Mr Watson said Mr Gwala would have had less than two seconds to react to seeing Mr Lock's car coming towards him. Mr Lock died at the scene while Mr Gwala died 10 days later in hospital, both as a result of their injuries. Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham said: "It must have been a sad day for both these families and I express my condolences for the sad loss of two young lives." He recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision.
Image: Author: Chris Downer