Assistant coroner apologises after wrongly telling court man killed in Broadstairs crash had taken fentanyl before accident

Coroners Inquest
October 19, 2023 Michael 0 Comments

A coroner has apologised after wrongly telling a court a young dad had taken a strong opioid before he was killed in a crash – when he was in fact given the drug in hospital after.

An inquest into the death of 27-year-old Brandon Licorish was this week told how he had the powerful painkiller fentanyl in his system at the time of the fatal accident in Broadstairs.

Assistant coroner Georgina Gibbs concluded his driving had been impaired by the prescription drug, which she said had contributed to the crash.

KentOnline published a report of the hearing and the evidence presented, but after concerns were raised by Mr Licorish’s loved ones sought clarification from the coroners’ office.

And in a staggering concession this afternoon, an investigation officer for the Kent and Medway Coroner Service confirmed a blunder had been made.

She said: “I have spoken with the presiding coroner – Her Honour Judge Georgina Gibbs – and the senior coroner for Kent and Medway.

“Assistant coroner Georgina Gibbs has reviewed this issue and understands that fentanyl was given to Mr Licorish in the hospital.

“She apologises wholeheartedly for this error, and for the distress it has caused his family and friends.”

The inquest into Mr Licorish’s death was held on Monday at County Hall in Maidstone.

It was told the father-of-two had been travelling to meet friends when he lost control of his car in Millennium Way – an industrial cul-de-sac – on July 2 this year.

A police investigation revealed he had been travelling at 57mph on the 30mph road at a point about 140 metres before the crash.

Witnesses said he spun off the road after attempting to navigate a raised miniature roundabout on the wrong side of the carriageway, ending up in a ditch.

The friends he had been driving to meet rushed to his side to give him first aid before he was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London.

Sadly his condition deteriorated and he died three days later from a traumatic brain injury.

A subsequent investigation showed no faults in the road surface or vehicle, but a police report summarised that the “primary fault must most likely lie with the actions of the driver”.

The court was told a screening of Mr Licorish’s blood was later carried out and showed ‘therapeutic’ levels of fentanyl in his system at a high enough concentration to potentially impair his driving ability.

It was one of three contributory factors listed by the assistant coroner, who even said it was unclear why he had taken the drug, as he had no prescription.

“On the balance of probability, I find that the ingestion of fentanyl impaired his driving; in addition to driving above the speed limit and negotiating the roundabout on the wrong side of the carriageway,” she added.

“Those three things contributed [to the crash].”

After today’s admission that the fentanyl had been administered in hospital after the crash, the coroner’s office has been asked if Mr Licorish’s inquest will be reopened to set the public record straight.

Michael represents interested parties at coroners inquests.

Assistant coroner apologises after wrongly telling court man killed in Broadstairs crash had taken fentanyl before accident was last modified: December 18th, 2023 by Michael

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