'Combination of factors' led to Buxton crash which claimed lives of three young men

Tributes left at the scene of the tragedy.
Tributes left at the scene of the tragedy.

A 'combination of factors' led to a crash which resulted in the deaths of three friends near Buxton, an inquest heard.

Aiden Edmonds, Peter Eyre and Daniel Leafe died after the Ford Fiesta they were travelling in was involved in a collision with a Land Rover on Waterswallows Road at 6.30pm on November 7 last year. The three men were sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Aiden Edmonds.

Aiden Edmonds.

On Friday, Chesterfield coroners' court heard the Fiesta had multiple defects and was being driven at speed by 25-year-old Mr Edmonds, who had cannabis in his system.

After the young men died, their families described them as 'wonderful’, 'outgoing and loving' and 'doting and dedicated'.

READ MORE: Families of three young men killed in Buxton crash pay tribute to them

Collision captured on dash cam

The court heard toxicology tests revealed HGV driver Mr Edmonds, of Batham Gate Road, Buxton, had 4.1 micrograms of cannabis per litre of blood in his system. The legal limit is two micrograms.

Peter Eyre.

Peter Eyre.

Student Mr Eyre, 18, of Meadow Avenue, Peak Dale, and apprentice joiner Mr Leafe, 18, from School Road, Peak Dale - who were passengers in the Fiesta - also had cannabis in their systems, according to the toxicology tests.

Detective Constable Darren Parkin, investigating officer, said: "The concentration of cannabis may increase post-mortem after death.

"Having said that, it's clear all three had consumed cannabis.

"Of course, Aiden, as driver, was likely to have been impaired at that point.

Daniel Leafe.

Daniel Leafe.

"It's likely the cannabis would have affected his ability to drive a motor vehicle.

"The collision was captured on the Land Rover's dash cam.

"The Fiesta was travelling at speed and when negotiating a nearside bend the vehicle lost control and collided with the Land Rover.

"The Land Rover driver didn't have time to react."

PC Matthew Lacey, a forensic collision investigator, said the Fiesta was travelling at an average speed of 66mph at the time of the crash.

Trevor Jones, a vehicle examiner, found no defects with the Land Rover, which was being driven within the speed limit on the correct side of the road.

The Ford Fiesta had a number of defects, including a worn rear axle, which would have had a 'detrimental effect on the vehicle's stability', according to PC Jones.

'A wholly avoidable event'

Coroner Peter Nieto concluded Mr Edmonds, Mr Eyre and Mr Leafe died as a result of a road traffic collision.

He said the evidence showed the collision occurred due to a 'combination of factors': Mr Edmonds was under the influence of cannabis, his car had defects which affected its stability and travelling speed, and he was driving at excessive speed.

Mr Nieto said: "It was very tragic for three young men to lose their lives in this way.

"In hindsight, it was a wholly avoidable event."

Chief Superintendent Darren Muggleton, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said after the inquest: "Derbyshire police, in conjunction with partners, are committed to making the roads in Derbyshire safer.

"We'll continue to actively tackle drug-driving and speeding - these being two of the nationally recognised factors involved in serious and fatal collisions."