As first reported by Island Echo, emergency services were called to Whippingham Road near East Cowes on the evening of the 1st March last year following a collision between Mr Legge’s Vauxhall Corsa and a Land Rover Freelander, driven by local electrician Ian Garside.
Today’s inquest in Newport detailed how Mr Legge died instantly as a result of a complete transection of the cervical cord after colliding head-on into Mr Garside’s 4×4. He was found slumped over the steering wheel.
2 witnesses, who were travelling behind the Vauxhall Corsa, described in statements how Mr Legge was driving at speeds of up to 80mph before crossing over into the opposite lane as he went around a left hand bend. The driver of a HGV traveling in the opposite direction said that the cars collided with such force that both vehicles were thrown into the air.
A Police report put together by the Collision Investigation Unit at Hampshire Constabulary concluded that Mr Legge had potentially drifted across the white line before then making a harsh left movement towards a tree followed by a harsh right movement into the path of Mr Garside. It is said that 2 text messages were received on Mr Legges phone, but that they had not been opened. No faults were found with either vehicle.
A post mortem examination confirmed that before getting into his vehicle that evening, Jonathan Legge had taken the illegal narcotic cocaine – up to 12 hours before his death – and had consumed so much alcohol that he was 1.5x over the drink-drive limit.
Mr Legge had a history of substance abuse, overdoses and suicidal thoughts and had been under local mental health services. At one point he consumed up to 42 Codine tablets a day.
The inquest was told that the driver of the second vehicle involved, Ian Garside, doesn’t remember what happened during or before the crash. His parents were present at the inquest. Mr Garside is still unable to walk having suffered a break to his upper right leg and is due to have another operation shortly – his third since the crash.
Caroline Sumeray, senior coroner for the Isle of Wight concluded a short narrative stating that Jonathan Colin Legge died as a result of a road traffic collision where alcohol and drugs had an adverse affect on the deceased driver as to impair his ability to drive his vehicle.