Driver speeding, texting, on drugs and without seatbelt when he died in St Albans accident

PUBLISHED: 10:41 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:41 27 February 2019

Oaklands lane, Smallford. Car crash.

Oaklands lane, Smallford. Car crash.

Archant

A speeding motorist was using his mobile phone while driving without a seatbelt and under the influence of drugs when he died in a car accident in St Albans, an inquest has heard.

The Old Courthouse in Hatfield where the inquest was held. Picture: Chris Flanagan.The Old Courthouse in Hatfield where the inquest was held. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

It was dark and foggy at about 4am last March 11 when Vincenzo Giordano left his girlfriend’s house to buy cigarettes from a local petrol station.

Despite having had his driving licence revoked in September 2017, the 35-year-old, from Grampian Way in Luton, took her bank card and Vauxhall Zafira, only insured in her name, to make the trip.

He stopped off at the Tesco Express cash point on St Brelades Place in Jersey Farm before travelling south east along Oaklands Lane, where the crash took place.

The inquest was told Mr Giordano was not wearing a seatbelt, speeding up to 63mph in a 40mph zone, using his phone to send or receive text messages, and had high levels of cocaine in his blood - 320 microgrammes per litre.

The Old Courthouse in Hatfield where the inquest was held. Picture: Chris Flanagan.The Old Courthouse in Hatfield where the inquest was held. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

With visibility reduced to between 25m and 50m in the fog, Mr Giordano spun on the sharp left hand bend, hitting the verge and rolling multiple times before colliding with two trees.

The force of the collision ejected him from the vehicle, and he was found in the road some time later by neighbours who had heard the crash.Despite efforts to resuscitate him using CPR, Mr Giordano died at the scene.

Senior Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan recorded death by traumatic brain injury after a road traffic collision.

He said: “As I look at all of the evidence as to how Mr Giordano died, it is clear to me that the death came about as a result of a road traffic collision.

“He was travelling back to his girlfriend’s house in the dark, in the fog, and he was under the influence of drugs, he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and he was most likely using his phone.

“All of these factors combined to make him lose control of his car on that bend.”

Mr Giordano’s mother, father, two sisters, and the mother of his two children came to the inquest on February 26.

Mr Sullivan added: “Thank you to members of the family for coming and allow me to offer my condolences.”

PC Helen Carpenter, who gave evidence at the inquest, said there was no crash history at this particular bend in the last five years.

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