TWO men died in a horrific crash when a BMW left the road and struck a tree after travelling at “significantly” over the speed limit, an inquest heard. 

Daniel Rowland, from Brentwood, and Ricky Batchelor, from Benfleet, both 32, were found in the car in Point Clear Road, St Osyth, last August.

The inquest heard the driver, Mr Batchelor, was over the drink drive limit although no exact reading was given. 

Mr Batchelor’s family vociferously denied he would ever have got behind the wheel after drinking.

The exact speed the car was travelling could not be ascertained but the inquest heard it was travelling at “significantly more than the 30mph limit”. 

Katherine Burke, from Essex Police’s forensic collision investigation unit, told the inquest: “The crash happened some time between 1.40am and 2.10am and the men were found at about 6.15am.

“The road was in good condition and it was a warm dry night. There was no evidence of any other vehicle being involved.

“The car was on the wrong side of the road without any evidence showing why.

“The car veered off the road, hit a tree, went around the tree and it then went through a fence and landed on a driveway.

“Marks on the seat belts show the men were wearing them.

“There were also three tyres under the legal limit for the tread.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Ricky Batchelor

The inquest heard one tyre was so worn it was coming off the vehicle’s rim.

Ms Burke added: “We cannot say the exact speed but due to the nature of the damage it had to be significantly more than the 30mph limit.”

During the inquest, Mr Batchelor’s family said: “He would never had got in the car if he wasn’t fit.

“He hadn’t had the car long and hadn’t checked it all over.”

After his death, Mr Batchelor’s family described him as a loving son, dad, husband and grandson.

They said: “He was the most brilliant dad to his son Ralph. He dedicated his life to him and his family, he always tried to make our lives a little easier.

“Ricky was loved by so many people.”

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded the pair died as a result of a road crash.