A drunk driver identified as Timothy Grace killed himself and his first date in a ‘catastrophic’ motorway crash after he drank almost two bottles of wine.
He did lost control of his BMW X5 while driving at speeds of up to 102mph before his vehicle left the road and smashed into a tree.
An inquest heard the window cleaner and Sarah-Jayne Thomas, 28, both died from traumatic injuries suffered in the road traffic collision off the M4 near Bridgend, South Wales.
Pontypridd Coroner’s Court heard father-of-two Mr Grace was twice over the drink-drive limit and did not have a full licence or insurance while he drove home with Miss Thomas, a hairdresser and mother-two from Penlan, Swansea, on June 12 this year.
The pair had enjoyed a lunch together just before 12pm at a steakhouse in Cardiff Bay, where staff said Mr Grace ordered two bottles of 13% Chardonnay wine which he drank most of while Miss Thomas drank cocktails.
The couple left for the nearby Grosvenor Casino after their meal, where a barman said both Mr Grace and Miss Thomas ‘appeared drunk’ when they ordered another round of drinks at about 1.35pm.
Mr Grace would have been prosecuted for the crash if he had survived. Miss Thomas was found dead at the scene having suffered multiple injuries and a toxicology report later found she was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of her death.
A comatose Mr Grace was flown by helicopter to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, where he was diagnosed with an ‘unsurvivable’ brain injury.
A toxicology report showed his blood-alcohol levels were estimated at 156mg per decilitre, almost double the legal driving limit of 80mg per decilitre.
Coroner Graeme Hughes said Mr Grace had died from a traumatic head injury and Miss Thomas had died from multiple injuries. He recorded a cause of death for both as a road traffic collision contributed to by alcohol.