Driver was 46 times over drug limit when he died in horror crash with 18-year-old passenger

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The family of passenger Annabelle Lovell, 18, paid tribute to her during an inquest into her death saying: ‘We adored her’

A driver who died in a crash along with his 18-year-old passenger was 46 times the drug-drive limit, an inquest heard.

Moments before the horror crash Benjamin Teague overtook a van and lorry at around100mph, and his speed was at least 87mph when the collision happened.

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His grey BMW 3 series crashed into a Volkswagen ID4 on the A5 between Potterspury and Paulerspury, Nottinghamshire, at around 9pm on Monday, August 2.

Annabelle Lovell, 18, died alongside Benjamin Teague, 26, when his BMW crashed with another vehicle.Annabelle Lovell, 18, died alongside Benjamin Teague, 26, when his BMW crashed with another vehicle.
Annabelle Lovell, 18, died alongside Benjamin Teague, 26, when his BMW crashed with another vehicle. | SWNS/contributed

The inquest into the death of Annabelle Lovell, the front seat passenger in Mr Teague’s car took place on Wednesday morning (May 4) at The Guildhall in Northampton town centre.

During the inquest the Lovell family paid tribute to their “angel”.

‘We will never see Annabelle get married or have children’

The Lovell family said in a statement read out at the inquest: "Annabelle had four siblings who she got on well with, very well.

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"Annabelle was very close to her dad, they could talk about anything and everything. Annabelle loved her dad dearly, and she still does.

"We adored her.

"We will never see Annabelle get married or have children, because that has been taken away from us because of a selfish, dangerous driver.

"Take care my angel."

Annabelle Lovell died at the scene on Monday, August 2 2021.Annabelle Lovell died at the scene on Monday, August 2 2021.
Annabelle Lovell died at the scene on Monday, August 2 2021.

BMW overtook van and lorry at around 100mph before crash

The crash came just 23 months after Mr Teague and his former partner welcomed the arrival of their son Logan who was tinier than his teddy bear when he was born 11 weeks early.

The miracle tot weighed just 1lb 8oz when he was born on September 30, 2019 - just 10oz more than the UK’s smallest baby.

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After nine weeks in hospital, he battled to full health and was allowed home.

The inquest heard how Mr Teague was executing “highly dangerous manoeuvres” just moments before the crash including overtaking a van and a lorry at around 100mph.

Mr Teague then attempted to overtake a row of three cars while driving on the wrong side of the road when he smashed into the Volkswagen, the inquest heard.

John Underwood, forensic crash investigator from Northamptonshire Police, told the inquest that the minimum speed Mr Teague was driving at at the point of impact with the Volkswagen was 87mph, bringing the Volkswagen SUV to a “halt”.

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Mr Underwood said: "The impact occurred while the BMW was on the incorrect side of the carriageway.

"This collision occurred as a result of an error on the BMW's part. Alcohol and drugs were a major contributory factor and the driving and speeding."

A post-mortem report found that Mr Teague had a reading of 80mg of alcohol per 100milliletres of blood, and 93.5mg of cannabis per 100 millilitres of blood, which is 46 times over the drug-drive limit, the inquest heard.

‘ I had absolutely no time to react’

The driver of the Volkswagen SUV, Jonathan Millidge, who suffered a fractured spine among other serious injuries, told the inquest that there was nothing he could have done to avoid the collision.

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He said: "The car [BMW] just suddenly came out, all the way out over the white lines. I had absolutely no time to react.

"People say their life flashes before them in situations like this but there was not even time for that.

"I do not believe I could have done anything to avoid the collision.

"If I had not been there they would still be alive. They were just two young people. They didn't deserve that."

Senior coroner Anne Pember recorded a narrative verdict.

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The coroner said: "The driver of the BMW overtook the vehicle while travelling in excess of the speed limit.

"The driver at the time had a significant amount of alcohol and cannabis.

"Tragically, Annabelle was confirmed dead at the scene."

Ms Pember added: "Mr Millidge, there was nothing you could have done to avoid this tragedy."