Boy, 8, killed in tragic crash after drug-driver dad aquaplaned on 'flooded' stretch of M60 motorway | The Sun

AN EIGHT-year-old boy was killed in a tragic crash after his drug-driver dad aquaplaned on a "flooded" stretch of the M60.

Blake Consterdine-Clarke, 8, suffered "catastrophic injuries" when his father Leon Clarke lost control of his motor near Audenshaw, Manchester.


Clarke, 40, was uninsured and 13 times the legal drug-driving limit when his unroadworthy BMW smashed into a lorry back in February 2020.

Little Blake, who was sitting in the back, was declared dead an hour later after being rushed to hospital.

His dad was seen holding the youngster in his arms at the side of the M60 near Stockport, sobbing: "I've killed my son".

The dad was jailed for four years in October after admitting causing his son's death by careless driving whilst over the drug driving limit.

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He also pleaded guilty to causing death by driving while uninsured.

An inquest at Manchester South Coroner’s Court heard that a blocked drain had resulted in a "significant amount of water" building up on the motorway on the day of the crash.

The court also heard how another vehicle had also aquaplaned on the same stretch of carriageway earlier that day.

As Clarke sped along the M60, youngster Blake was sitting in the back of the BMW while his little brother sat at the front.

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The inquest heard that the unroadworthy BMW was "poorly maintained" with each of its rear tyres below the legal limit.

PC Martin Davies, a forensic collision investigator for Greater Manchester Police, added that it had been raining "quite considerably" prior to the crash.

The hearing was told that as Clarke attempted to switch lanes he lost control of his vehicle, the then BMW "aquaplaned" on standing water and began to spin.

By this point, PC Davies told the court that it would have "practically impossible to correct".

He told the hearing that the BMW's tyre pressure, tread depth and the amount of standing water on the road had all contributed to the loss of control.

It saw the motor veer of the motorway and plough into a highways maintenance lorry.

That same truck had been called out to assess damage caused during an incident in which another vehicle aquaplaned earlier that day.

PC Davies said: "Any tyre correctly inflated could have aquaplaned in those circumstances but the tyre pressure certainly made that happen sooner.

"If it had been going straight ahead, there is a possibility it might not have occurred"

'GREAT TRAGEDY'

In a statement read out in court, heartbroken mum Vicky Consterdine described her son as a "happy, little boy" and said her "life is over" following his death.

Concluding that Blake died as a result of a "road traffic accident", senior coroner Alison Mutch described his death as a "great tragedy".

She added: "On the day in question, his mum and the rest of the family could have had no idea of the very tragic way that the day was to end."

"What is clear is that all drivers should check their tyre depths carefully to ensure their vehicle can be used, particularly in road conditions such as this.

"In addition to the tyre treads, the vehicle in question had tyre pressures below the recommendations given by the manufacturer.

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"What the death of Blake shows is that the tyre pressures recommended by the manufacturer are not their just to create inconvenience to owners of motor vehicles, but are there to keep them and their passengers and other road users safe."

The coroner ruled that the blocked drain had contributed to the crash, and raised concerns about the lack of records documenting when it was last cleaned.

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