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Darran Walker inquest: Jury told driver had traces of cannabis and opiates in blood

George Roberts

George Roberts

Darran Walker inquest: Jury told driver had traces of cannabis and opiates in blood

A driver who was killed after crashing his car while driving the wrong way up the motorway had traces of opiates and cannabis in his blood, an inquest has heard.

Darran Walker,  of Two Mile Drive, Slough, died after he collided with a van while driving the wrong way up the slipway of Junction 7 of the M4 in Slough.

The inquest heard police pulled up behind Mr Walker's Peugeot 206 when it was pulled over on the hard shoulder of the M4 in December 2016.

After the police car stopped the Peugeot accelerated away, driving at up to 89mph, before appearing to perform a handbrake turn, reversing into the police car, and speeding the other way along the hard shoulder, against the flow of traffic.

Constable Kevin Rodney was at the scene, and in a written statement read out at the inquest, described how he provided CPR to Mr Walker.

He said: "I ran to the car to collect the face mask. We performed CPR. I provided oxygen via the mask and officer Gibson provided chest compressions.

"Gibson and I swapped roles and continued CPR for 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived on the scene."

Mr Walker was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.

The inquest heard Constable Gibson then searched Mr Walker's pockets for identification. Inside his pockets were a small green pocket knife and a resealable bag of 'green herbal matter'.

According to a report from his GP, Mr Walker was suffering from depression and anxiety and had been treated for drug addiction in the past.

The jury received a toxicology report, which found that Mr Walker had traces of opiates, cannabis and pregabalin, a drug for epilepsy and anxiety that is known to have hallucinogenic side effects, in his blood.

Mr Walker had been prescribed pregabalin by his GP, but the amount found in his system was double that of the average therapeutic user.

In a written statement, Dr Rebecca Andrews, deputy head of the Toxicology Unit at Imperial University, concluded that the opiates and pregabalin in his system would have had a sedative effect on him. She added that if he was only an occasional marijuana user, that would also have acted like a sedative.

The coroner, Ian Wade QC, added that the drugs in his system would have affected his ability to drive.

The inquest continues.

More from the inquest:

Darran Walker inquest: Driver describes 'disbelief' at head on M4 crash

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