A YOUNG man who was killed in a crash a day after his 21st birthday died as a result of a “bad decision”, an inquest heard.
The inquest into the death of Jake Rebbeck, 21, of Wotton-under-Edge, was held on Thursday at Gloucester Coroner’s Office, in Corinium Avenue, Gloucester.
Gloucestershire coroner Katy Skerrett concluded that Mr Rebbeck died as a result of a road traffic collision, with contributing factors of alcohol consumption and fatigue.
Mr Rebbeck impulsively decided to return to his parents’ home in Uley some time after 1.30am on March 5 this year following a night of birthday celebrations in Southampton, where he attended a business course at Solent University.
Mr Rebbeck’s friends from university submitted statements estimating the amount of alcoholic drinks he consumed throughout the night, including both spirits and beer. Toxicology reports would later reveal that Mr Rebbeck had 111mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal driving limit is 80mg.
The inquest heard that he likely made the decision to travel home due to concerns over £120 missing from his account after his debit card was stolen. He did not inform anybody he was making the journey prior to setting off.
After completing most of the trip Mr Rebbeck made a phone call to his mother, Margaret, from Calcot service station, at about 5am. He initially told her he had no money for petrol, but found some change in his car shortly afterwards and continued his journey.
Mrs Rebbeck said that her son did not sound noticeable tired.
It was at about 5.49am, as Mr Rebbeck was driving along the A4175 just outside Kingscote, when he lost control of his silver MG SR Rover on a left turn and crashed into a white Ford Transit Connect van.
Driver of the van Malcolm Pierce and passenger Kenneth Jones, who were on their way to work in Cirencester, saw the rover coming towards them. After first veering onto the grass verge on the left, Mr Rebbeck utilised right hand steering, causing the vehicle to spin out and smash into the van.
Paramedics called by witnesses arrived and confirmed Mr Rebbeck had died from multiple injuries, including injury to the head.
Ms Skerrett concluded: “Alcohol was a contributing factor, and so was tiredness. We have heard a brief mention of speed but I don’t place much emphasis on that.
“It was a bad decision, and there are many contributing factors. It was a tragic accident with a tragic conclusion.”
Mr Rebbeck leaves behind his parents, Carl and Margaret, and three older siblings.
Mrs Rebbeck, in her statement read by the coroner, described her son as “loving” with a “lovely quick witted sense of humour.” She also said how well he was doing in his studies.
A police liaison officer asked members of the press not to approach the family.