Death smash driver had booze and drugs in sys­tem

Mum says ‘My whole world has just gone’

Rochdale Observer - - MEMORY WALK - He­len.john­son@men-news.co.uk @he­len­j83MEN

APOPULAR young man who died in an hor­rific road smash had downed vodka and taken co­caine be­fore get­ting be­hind the wheel of his new pow­er­ful BMW, an inquest heard.

Ka­vana Tay­lor, 21, died in the early hours of Easter Sun­day af­ter the BMW 3 Series he was driv­ing crashed into a Volk­swa­gen Polo in Castle­ton.

An inquest into his death at North Manch­ester Coro­ners’ Court heard he was three-and-a-half­times the drink drive limit and had traces of the Class A drug in his sys­tem.

Po­lice said he was driv­ing at more than 76mph in a 30mph zone - on the wrong side of the road when he smashed into an on­com­ing car on the brow of a hill.

Ka­vana wasn’t wear­ing his seat belt and was thrown from the ve­hi­cle.

He died at the scene af­ter suf­fer­ing se­vere mul­ti­ple in­juries, which were so cat­a­strophic that his par­ents were not al­lowed to see him be­fore he was laid to rest.

Now, de­spite their in­tense grief, Ka­vana’s dev­as­tated dad Ian and mum Claire have bravely de­cided to speak pub­licly to warn other young peo­ple off drink­ing and driv­ing.

Ian, 55, spoke out af­ter an emo­tional inquest hear­ing in Heywood, in the hope that know­ing what hap­pened to his son will de­ter other young peo­ple from do­ing the same thing.

“Me and his mum and his brothers and sis­ters will be af­fected for the rest of our lives,” he said.

“Drink played a ma­jor part in his death and I just want to put it out there, young peo­ple us­ing ve­hi­cles as a party bus be­cause that is what they are do­ing, and I know they are do­ing it ev­ery week­end, even af­ter this- as soon as al­co­hol is brought into the car, or co­caine, there is go­ing to be an ac­ci­dent.

“If my son’s death can pre­vent that...”

Mo­tor­bike en­thu­si­ast Ka­vana, who was a full time carer for his mum and was hop­ing to set up a busi­nesses sell­ing on cars, had only bought the 1.6 BMW 3 series days be­fore he died.

The court heard that both his par­ents had urged him to drive care­fully, and to be aware that the BMW was a ‘dif­fer­ent drive’ to his pre­vi­ous car, a one litre front-wheel drive Toy­ota Auris.

In a state­ment to po­lice af­ter his death, Ian said: “I told him so many times not to drive dan­ger­ously. But he did, and we are left with this pain.

“I told him not to buy that car. It’s a dif­fer­ent drive and a pow­er­ful en­gine.

“I’m so grate­ful he didn’t kill any­one else.”

Ian told the hear­ing that his son was in a good mood in the hours lead­ing up to his death, and that it would have been very out of char­ac­ter for him to drink and drive, as he was not a big drinker.

The court heard that Ka­vana had picked up and dropped off two of his best friends ear­lier in the night, and they later told Ian that he hadn’t been drink­ing at that point.

At some point in the evening, Ka­vana and one other male pas­sen­ger had gone to a petrol sta­tion and bought a bot­tle of vodka.

The pair had of­fered a lift to two fe­male friends and picked them up at Yates in Rochdale, be­fore Ka­vana drove out to Water­grove Reser­voir in War­dle.

The women later told po­lice that Ka­vana was driv­ing fast, and on the wrong side of the road, while one re­ported see­ing him drink­ing from the bot­tle of vodka while driv­ing.

Con­cerned about his driv­ing, one of the women took over driv­ing, be­fore go­ing back to Yates.

PC Phil Shaw, of GMP’s se­ri­ous col­li­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion unit, told the hear­ing that Ka­vana had had a ‘mi­nor col­li­sion’ where he drove into the back of a taxi in Rochdale town cen­tre, around 20 min­utes be­fore the fa­tal crash.

Shortly after­wards, the car trav­elled to Manch­ester Road in Castle­ton, where it col­lided with the Polo, de­spite an at­tempt by the other driver to swerve out of the way.

The BMW ended up around 200 me­tres away from the site of the col­li­sion.

The front seat pas­sen­ger who had been in the BMW at the time of the crash left the scene and ran off.

A post mortem ex­am­i­na­tion found Ka­vana had an amount of co­caine in his blood con­sis­tent with ‘recre­ational’ use and 281 mi­cro­grams of al­co­hol per 100ml of blood. The le­gal limit is 80 mi­cro­grams.

Mum Claire, 39, says she lost her whole world when her son died, and is now urg­ing other young peo­ple not to put their fam­i­lies through the same heartache.

She was in the early ●●A huge trib­ute to Ka­vana Tay­lor (in­set) sprang up at the site of the fa­tal crash on Manch­ester Road in Castle­ton stages of preg­nancy at the time of Ka­vana’s death and learned for the first time at the inquest that her el­dest son had died at 1.38 - the same time she gave birth to her new baby six weeks ago.

She said: “Don’t put any­one’s par­ents through this. I’ve lost my whole world. My whole world has just gone.

“I died when he died. I’m never go­ing to get over this. His brothers and sis­ters, they don’t cope, I’ve got a new baby who he is never go­ing to meet.

“Please don’t drink and drive. Spare some­one else’s fam­ily go­ing through this.

“We have to live with this for the rest of our lives. He was a spe­cial per­son, to ev­ery­one. No one had a bad word to say about him.

“His fu­neral, I was a fu­neral di­rec­tor, and I’ve never seen a fu­neral as big as that, and I’ve con­ducted some fu­ner­als.

“His friends carry us though it. We see them near enough ev­ery day and I’ve made them all prom­ise, don’t ever stop that. They keep him go­ing.”

In the days af­ter Ka­vana’s death, a huge shrine sprung up at the site of the crash, as his many friends and fam­ily mem­bers came to pay their re­spects.

He leaves be­hind two sis­ters and two brothers.

Ian added: “It’s af­fected his friends badly. “He wasn’t a drinker.

“Drink didn’t play any part in his life, ex­cept that one night, brought into that car.”

Coro­ner Julie Robert­son recorded a con­clu­sion of ac­ci­den­tal death.

●●Ka­vana Tay­lor with mum Claire Tay­lor, who has now warned other young peo­ple against drink­ing and driv­ing

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