INQUEST: Stroud teenager with high alcohol level died after crashing car

A Stroud teenager who was spending a gap year in New Zealand as a trainee gamekeeper tragically lost his life when he crashed his car with a high level of alcohol in his blood, a Gloucester inquest heard last week.

Under New Zealand law, 18-year-old Jack Roberts from Miserden, near Stroud, should not have been drinking at all before driving.

The country has a zero alcohol limit for drivers under 19 but Jack was found to have a level of 174 mgs in his blood – almost three times the national limit for older drivers.

In the UK the limit is 80mgs.

Jack was working at Craigmore Station in Maungati, a large farm in the Canterbury having flown out to New Zealand in November 2017.

The inquest was told that Jack was friends with fellow Brit, Mr Campion, who also worked there. 

At 2am on February 18, 2018 a group of night hunters found the wreckage of the Subaru station wagon in a paddock off the side of the road.

They reported that one man (Harry Campion) who was on the ground was unconscious but still breathing while Jack, who was unresponsive, was still strapped in the driver’s seat upside down.

The emergency services pronounced Jack dead at the scene, while his companion Mr Campion was taken to hospital.

In his statement Mr Campion recalled that Jack had brought some beer and two bottles of spirits with him to a party on the night of the incident.

At about 11pm, Mr Campion recalled, the host offered to drive him and Jack back home because they had been drinking, but they decided instead they would stay in a caravan on the property.

He told the police his next memory was waking up in hospital.

Mr Campion did not remember giving his friend the keys to his Subaru. 

However Jack did drive which led to the crash that happened on a winding section of Pareora Gorge Road with the police believing that the Subaru was travelling at an estimated 138kmh (86mph) before braking.

Collision investigator Sergeant Price concluded that alcohol and excessive speed were contributory factors in Jack’s death.

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