A 20-YEAR-OLD man died of head and chest injuries after a crash near Stocksfield.

Drew Kyle Docherty, of Ryton, died on February 2, 2022, at around 9.24pm on the crossroads junction of the B6309 and Lead Road.

An inquest into Drew’s death, held at Northumberland Coroners’ Court, heard how he was behind the wheel of a blue Mazda 6 which collided with a yellow Renault recovery truck being driven by Craig Heal, who had been travelling back from Gretna.

Before the crash, Drew collected his friend Liam Swan from football in Prudhoe and the pair, along with another friend Dylan Murray, planned to drive to the Derwent area to meet Drew’s sister Emmi and James Robinson.

Passengers Liam and Dylan were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The inquest heard how the speed in which the Mazda was travelling could not be determined but evidence discounted suggestions that the Mazda had been racing with a Ford Fiesta being driven by Robinson.

The coroner did however accept that the Mazda did not stop at the junction.

Heal, who had been using his phone to access social media during his journey – but not at the time of the crash – tested positive for cocaine breakdown product Benzoylecgonine (BZE) at twice the legal limit and had been travelling over the speed limit at 53mph.

The legal limit on that road for that vehicle is 50. 

It was acknowledged that although an amber light was on in the recovery truck, indicating there was a fault with the ABS system, this did not contribute directly to the crash and the driver had attempted to break.

HM senior coroner Andrew Hetherington recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision and expressed his condolences to Drew’s family, who had attended the scene, along with emergency services and staff from Glendinning, where Heal was employed at the time.

At the time of the crash, Sergeant Michael Parnaby, of Northumbria Police, said: “It is always incredibly sad when somebody loses their life on our region’s road and we will continue to offer Drew’s loved ones any support they need."