A farmer who crashed into a house when he was two times over the drink drive limit had suffered from depression since his herd of cattle died.
Geoffrey Gill, 55, died on April 5 this year after a high-speed police chase through Leyland ended in him crashing into a family home in Longmeanygate.
An inquest held before a jury yesterday heard that Mr Gill, who was a father and was married to his wife Julie for 34 years, had started drinking and taking anti-depressants and sleeping tablets in 2008 when the farm was dealt a set-back. Coroner Dr James Adeley said he understood Mr Gill, of Lostock Bridge Farm in Ulnes Walton, had been affected badly when ‘things took a turn for the worse’ and the couple lost a lot of their stock.
Mrs Gill, giving evidence at Preston Coroner’s Court, said: “He started drinking more and more because he couldn’t sleep. We had to sell the rest of the cattle and close the farm. It really brought him down.”
The inquest heard on the day of his death, Mr Gill was seen by a police officer driving on the opposite side of the road in the early hours of the morning.
Following a police chase which started on Farington Road and continued to Croston Road and Flensburg Way, Mr Gill lost control of his black Mitsubishi Animal car on a bend on Longmeanygate.
He died in hospital later that day from his ‘very serious injuries’, which included rib fractures, bleeding in his chest and abdominal cavity, and chest and spine fractures.
A jury of six men and four woman unanimously recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Longmeanygate remains closed following the incident, as the house is still unstable.
- For more in-depth coverage of this story, see next Tuesday’s Leyland Guardian.