Peterborough woman behind the wheel who died with friend in crash near Oundle was over drink-drive limit, inquest hears

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Amber Pitts and Coreisha Mills both died in crash in April last year

The death of a 22-year-old woman who crashed a sports car into a tree near a Northamptonshire estate was accidental, an inquest has found.

Amber Pitts, from Peterborough, was over the drink-drive limit when she crashed a blue BMW sport motorcar on a private road in Ashton, near Oundle, on April 22, 2022. At the time of the accident, the road was said to be in good condition with clear weather and good visibility, however no street lighting was present.

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The young woman died alongside her friend Coreisha Mills, 22, from Yaxley, who was in the passenger seat of the car. An inquest at Northampton Guildhall heard the women were friends who had met at their job as prison officers.

The tragic incident happened in AshtonThe tragic incident happened in Ashton
The tragic incident happened in Ashton

The inquest, held on Thursday (April 18), heard that Ms Pitts may have been 1.7 times over the drink-drive limit at the time of the crash. A post-mortem examination found she had 136 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood which could likely affect her sensory, motor and cognitive functions.

The legal driving limit for blood alcohol levels in England is 80mg. Dr Stephen Morley, who specialises in toxicology, told the hearing that as alcohol levels get above this limit it “about doubles the risk of a road traffic collision”.

The passenger, Ms Mills, was found to have had no drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of her death. In a statement written by her partner of seven years and the father of her young son, the inquest heard that she had told him she was going to meet up with her friend, Ms Pitts, and that they would not be drinking.

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Ms Pitts was thought to have struck a tree at around 9.40pm as she was driving around a left-handed bend on Ashton Wold Drive, an access road into the estate. A number of signs along the single track carriageway stated a speed limit of 20mph, however the inquest heard that the car was travelling “considerably over the speed limit” when it lost control and collided with the two trees.

A witness, who lived in Ashton, heard the crash and went out to check the roads. She found the BMW flipped over on its side. At that point, there was no sign of life or response from inside the vehicle.

A call was made to Northamptonshire police at around 10.25pm. Both women were confirmed dead at the scene.

A pathologist later declared that Ms Mills suffered a fatal head injury and Ms Pitts suffered life-threatening injuries to the head, neck and chest on impact.

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A witness, who lived in Ashton, heard the crash and went out to check the roads. She found the BMW flipped over on its side. At that point, there was no sign of life or response from inside the vehicle.

A call was made to Northamptonshire police at around 10.25pm. Both women were confirmed dead at the scene.

A pathologist later declared that Ms Mills suffered a fatal head injury and Ms Pitts suffered life-threatening injuries to the head, neck and chest on impact.