A MAN killed his friend in a high-speed horror crash after spending the day drinking, an inquest heard.
Coroner Roger Whittaker told a Huddersfield inquest yesterday that 22-year-old Slaithwaite man Christopher Buckley was unlawfully killed by the driving of a friend, Grenville Ranshaw.
Mr Ranshaw, 56, of Radcliffe Road, Slaithwaite, also died in the crash on nearby Manchester Road on August 13 last year.
His death was recorded as an accident.
Mr Ranshaw had drunk five pints of beer and was driving at 71mph when he lost control of his Rover 214, after overtaking his girlfriend's car.
Mr Ranshaw, who worked for Slaithwaite building firm Robinsons Property Services, had taken the day off work and had been to Lindley with his girlfriend, Helen Bamforth and her seven-year-old son.
They picked up a friend and went to the Silent Woman pub in Slaithwaite, where Mr Ranshaw had three pints of beer before driving everyone back to Lindley.
At 1.15pm he returned with Mrs Bamforth and her son to her home in Slaithwaite.
Mrs Bamforth went on an errand and took her son to Marsden, shopping for clothes.
Mr Buckley, who lived at Olney Street, went with Mr Ranshaw to meet her. The two men had been in a pub in Marsden.
They all went for lunch to The Railway pub in Marsden, where Mr Ranshaw and Mr Buckley both had a pint of beer.
Mrs Bamforth and her son got in her Suzuki car for the journey back to Slaithwaite and Mr Buckley went in Mr Ranshaw's Rover.
Mrs Bamforth set off first and told the inquest she saw Mr Ranshaw's car appear behind her after she had entered the 40mph zone approaching Slaithwaite.
She had just rounded a bend and was approaching a 30mph zone when he overtook her. As the Rover passed, she saw Mr Ranshaw and Mr Buckley waving.
Mr Ranshaw pulled the Rover back in front of Mrs Bamforth's car, but then lost control and swerved to the right. He braked and the car turned sideways as it skidded on to the other side of the road.
Pensioner Veronica Whitehead told the inquest she was driving her Ford Fiesta towards Marsden when she saw Mr Ranshaw's car hurtling towards her "like a bat out of Hell".
She pulled to the side of the road and stopped to avoid a crash.
But the passenger side of the Rover hit the front of her Fiesta, pushing the car back 24 metres. The Rover then rolled over the top of the Fiesta and landed upside down on the road.
A passer-by called for help and firefighters cut Mrs Whitehead from the Fiesta.
She was airlifted to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where she had a five-hour operation. Her injuries included a broken left hand, broken breastbone and a broken right thigh.
Mr Buckley - who has a three-year-old son, Jamie - was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Mr Ranshaw was taken to the Royal Infirmary, but was dead on arrival.
Mr Whittaker said the case was tragic. He added: "Mr Ranshaw presented Mrs Whitehead with something over which she had absolutely no control and which caused Mr Ranshaw's death and Mr Buckley's death.
"This is a case which, in my view, is compounded by the alcohol Mr Ranshaw had.
"It would have affected his judgement and impaired his ability to safely control the vehicle."