Published: 09:02, 09 September 2011
by Gerry Warren
A scooter rider run over by a juggernaut after falling off his machine on the A2 was more than twice the drink drive limit, an inquest has been told.
But his stepfather told the hearing how 25-year-old Adam Cothill had been swilling whisky to try and numb the pain of a tooth abcess.
The victim, who worked as a carer visiting clients in the Canterbury area, was on his way home to Dover when the tragedy happened.
The collision was witnessed by Carolyn Bradley from St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe and her passenger Simon Beer who were following behind the scooter shortly after 7pm on New Year’s Eve.
She told coroner Rebecca Cobb how she saw Mr Cothill’s Gilera scooter move into the outside lane and then drift into the central reservation.
He came off and was lying motionless in the outside lane.
Miss Bradley said she stopped her car and with her passengers tried to warn on-coming traffic.
But a lorry travelling in the outside lane ran over Mr Cothill.
The vehicle did not stop and police were never able to trace the driver.
A pathologist said Mr Cothill, who lived in Douglas Road, Tower Hamlets, Dover, died from multiple injuries including massive head trauma.
But he also reported that the victim had 207 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit for drivers in 80 milligrammes.
Mr Cothill’s stepfather Matthew Smith said his stepson had been suffering with a tooth abcess for which he had taken antibiotics and painkillers.
He told the coroner: “That were not having much effect and he was having sleepless nights. He seemed to think that having a drink would help him sleep though he was not a drinker.
“He was due to go back to the dentist but was called back into work earlier that day.
“He had been swilling whisky to numb the pain though he was obviously drinking it.”
Recording an open verdict, Miss Cobb said it was impossible to say whether the first set of injuries caused by Mr Cothill coming off his scooter caused his death.
She said: “The second set were inevitably more serious and not survivable.”
She added: “I have not be able to hear evidence from the lorry driver and that it is now unlikely.
But there is not enough evidence to put the death in a specific category. That is not to say there is anything suspicious and it may well have just been a tragic accident.”