A dad died after driving a stolen car through a red light and ploughing into another vehicle that was carrying a family, an inquest has heard.
Jamie Crompton, 34, died after crashing a Fiat into a Vauxhall Insignia in Farnworth, Greater Manchester on May 25 just before 11pm.
CCTV showed the moment he ran the lights – which had been red for 12 seconds – before colliding with the car.
The Vauxhall driver was carrying his partner, sister and two young children when Mr Crompton hit him.
He sustained a broken ankle, other injuries and was left so shaken by the incident that he has vowed never to drive again.
An inquest into Mr Crompton’s death at Bolton Coroner’s Court today heard how the plumbing and heating engineer was disqualified from driving at the time of the crash.
Police said there was no evidence to suggest Mr Crompton had stolen the car himself.
He told his family he would “be back later” when a friend collected him from outside his house on Everard Close.
Giving evidence in court, Mr Crompton’s girlfriend, Jamie Smith, said: “It was a normal day. We were ready for bed and I heard a vehicle outside.
“He went to the front door and said he would be back soon.
“He didn’t say where he was going.”
GMP officer Andrew Nicholson, who investigated the crash, told the court the Fiat 500 had been reported stolen just days earlier from an address in Worsley.
However, there was no evidence to suggest Mr Crompton had stolen the car.
On Albert Road, just moments before the collision, CCTV showed him approach the red lights with one car waiting in the left-hand lane.
He drove past the vehicle and smashed into the Vauxhall Insignia, which had driven through the lights while they were on green.
The Insignia “spun in a circle” as the Fiat continued across the road.
It eventually crashed into a wall outside Tesco.
PC Nicholson said Mr Crompton had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time.
The speed at which he was driving has never been established.
Speaking at the hearing, PC Nicholson said: “Taking it all into consideration, there was a lack of due care and attention in Mr Crompton’s driving.
“There was an element of risk taken with the red light – or it was not seen.”
In a statement read out in court, the driver of the Vauxhall Insignia, David Newsham, said: “I was driving my vehicle, a Vauxhall Insignia, with my partner, my sister and two children.
“I was driving towards the traffic lights from Little Hulton. As I approached, they were showing green lights.
“The road was quiet and there were no vehicles in front of me.
“The next thing I remember was waking up hearing my partner saying, ‘We’ve crashed’.
“It’s a junction I have travelled many times. I didn’t even see the car hit me; it must have been travelling fast.”
A toxicology found Mr Crompton to have no trace of drugs or alcohol in his system.
Consultant pathologist at Bolton Royal Hospital, Ravindra Sawant, said he died after a fractured rib punctured his lung. The puncture led the lung to collapse.
His cause of death was listed as polytrauma, meaning multiple injuries in different areas of the body.
The court heard how Mr Crompton had suffered from depression due to a drug and alcohol problem in the past, something he attended rehabilitation for.
However, the inquest found there was nothing to suggest he had crashed the car deliberately.
Concluding the inquest, coroner Stephen Teasdale ruled that Mr Crompton died from multiple injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.
He said: “Although he may have had problems in the past, he seemed to have put these behind him.
“He was, at the time, a disqualified driver and had been driving a vehicle that had been stolen.
“I am not suggesting he stole that vehicle, however at the time of the collision the vehicle was being driven along towards the junction.
“He was driving on Albert Road as he approached the traffic lights. For 12 seconds, the lights were shown as red.
“There was also a car sitting on the left-hand side.
“Either he did not realise the lights were on red or did and took that risk.”