A DRIVER who died after crashing into a wall was more than two and a half times over the legal alcohol limit, an inquest has heard.

Anthony Hatfield, 27, of Heysoms Close, Northwich, had also taken cocaine and a therapeutic dose of the antipsychotic drug quetiapine, a coroner's court in Crewe was told on Tuesday.

Heath Westerman, assistant coroner for Cheshire, said that it was not possible to assess what effect the alcohol and drugs may have had on his driving.

The installation engineer was pronounced dead at the scene after his Mercedes A160 careered into a wall at the junction of Moss Road and Chester Road in Castle shortly after 5am on Sunday, August 12 last year.

His dad John told the inquest: "We were out the day before and he was perfectly normal."

He said his son had been on holiday to Wales and there was nothing in his life that was troubling him, although he had never got over the death of his mum three years earlier.

"I don't think that was particularly troubling him before the accident," he added.

Mr Hatfield had passed his driving test four weeks before the fatal collision, he said.

In a statement, Nicholas Lowe, who had known Mr Hatfield since he was a child and was a friend of his brother, Lee, told the inquest he was woken up on August 12 by the sound of a lad and a girl arguing outside his home.

The row stopped and started again, he said, and he heard a car door shut.

He then watched a male driver reverse the vehicle and hit the wing mirror of his car. He shouted out and recognised Mr Hatfield at the wheel.

They had a short conversation and Mr Hatfield then drove off hitting another car further down the road.

Police were looking for Mr Hatfield's Mercedes after receiving reports of the collision when Pc Sam Voisey spotted headlights of a car travelling "very fast" along Chester Road but didn't see the crash.

Pc Voisey described how four police officers tried to resuscitate Mr Hatfield after pulling him out of the smoking car.

Vehicle forensic examiner Maurice Lansom-Jones said there was no evidence of any mechanical, tyre, hydraulic systems or electrical failure in Mr Hatfield's vehicle which could have caused a loss of control.

Pc Mike Thompson, from the collision investigation unit, staged a reconstruction of the collision and discovered that the brakes had not been applied before the crash and the driver had not been wearing a seat belt.

Toxicologist Christopher Madden found 209 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in Mr Hatfield's body.The legal limit is 80.

Pathologist Dr David Butterworth carried out a post mortem examination and concluded that the cause of death was a ruptured aorta caused by a road traffic collision.

Coroner Mr Westerman said: "Mr Hatfield died as a result of unsurvivable injuries sustained as he was driving and carried on at speed through a T-junction and collided with a wall."