A teenage driver drowned when his car landed upside down in a stream and he found himself trapped inside the vehicle in the early hours of New Year’s Day, an inquest has heard.
Jack Noades, 19, lost control of his VW Polo on Barford Road in Tempsford before hitting the end of a safety barrier which flipped the car leaving him upside down in the River Great Ouse and unable to escape.
Cocaine and cannabis as well as alcohol were found in the student’s system after a post mortem.
Senior coroner Tom Osborne said: “It’s a chance of one in thousands that he actually caught the barrier, which launched him into the river and the car then slid down the bank into the river.
“Jack attempted to get out but was unsuccessful and drowned as a result. The only conclusion I can come to is that Jack died as a result of an accident.”
Jack was trapped in his car after the crash at around 1.40am, with his body not being found for another 10 hours.
He was training to become a tree surgeon after recovering movement in his legs following a tough 2014 after being diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder which at one point confined him to a wheelchair.
After the inquest Jack’s mother Sue told the Chronicle he had been on the way to help someone.
She said: “He was on his way to help a friend, but they didn’t say that.”
She added: “He had the sensibility to try and get out, he had his wits about him. He’d successfully gone round four roundabouts to get where he was, which wasn’t an easy road to be able to do what he did.”
Coroner Mr Osborne outlined the problems with drinking and taking drugs and then choosing to drive.
He said: “I have noted the excess alcohol and cocaine and it would be wrong of me to ignore those factors.
“All I would say is that it is a clear indication you don’t have to be a drug addict, you don’t need to be addicted to cocaine for it to result in death.
“I would not want anyone to go away thinking they played a minor part.
“I don’t believe Jack would have been driving in the way he did, at the time he did, but for the effects of the alcohol and the cocaine.”