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Cannabis may have impaired reactions of driver who died after car crash in Mildenhall, inquest hears

News from the Bury Free Press
News from the Bury Free Press

A high level of cannabis may have impaired the reactions of a driver who died in a blazing car following a crash on the A11, an inquest has heard.

Motorists and police were unable to save Sam Brooks-Kouam, 23, because of the intensity of the blaze.

Today an inquest in Bury St Edmunds was told that as he drove a BMW car through road works at Mildenhall on May 19 last year, Mr Brooks-Kouam had failed to heed warning signs to slow down.

His car, believed to be travelling at well above the temporary 40mph speed limit, braked hard before going into a spin and into the path of an oncoming Toyota car on the opposite carriageway.

Other drivers managed to drag Christopher Turner to safety from his Toyota but were beaten back by the flames which had engulfed the BMW.

Yvonne Blake, Assistant Suffolk Coroner, said Pc Ben Richardson, the first member of the emergency services on the scene, had been able to get no closer than 10ft from the burning car.

Mr Brooks-Kouam, of Prince of Wales Road, Norwich had to be identified using DNA samples because of the effects of the fire, said Ms Blake.

Toxicology tests revealed a level of cannabis in Mr Brooks-Kouam’s blood more than seven times higher than that normally associated with impaired behaviour.

A post mortem examination concluded that death had been due to traumatic injuries and cannabis use.

The inquest heard that a police investigation had concluded that despite numerous warning signs that roads works were taking place, Mr Brooks-Kouam appeared to have continued driving as if it were in normal road conditions.

Accident investigator Pc Jason Lambourne said in a report that cannabis appeared to provide the most likely explanation for Mr Brooks-Kouam failing to react properly to the situation.

While the Toyota was believed to have been travelling well within the 40mph limit, the BMW appeared to have been driven at high speed.

Ms Blake recorded a conclusion that Mr Brooks-Kouam died as a result of multiple injuries sustained in a road accident.


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