A teenager died after he was thrown from the powerful 4x4 he was driving when it flipped and then rolled on top of him.

Leon Roly Patterson, 18, was not wearing a seatbelt behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi Shogun and was over the drink-drive limit, an inquest heard.

Crook Coroners’ Court was told Mr Patterson, from Durham, also had cocaine and Pregabalin, a prescription painkiller, in his system when the car left Coalfield Lane, near Littletown, at around 7.30pm on July 14 2022.

Witnesses said he was driving at around 70mph before he lost control of the car.

The Northern Echo: Leon Patterson, who died in a car crash in Littletown, County Durham, last summer. Picture: Family pictureLeon Patterson, who died in a car crash in Littletown, County Durham, last summer. Picture: Family picture (Image: Family picture)

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David Appleton, one of Mr Patterson’s friends, who was a passenger in the Shogun, said: “We’d driven through Sherburn, to Coalford Lane.

“Leon was taking the corner too fast.

“This caused the vehicle to mount the kerb, spinning to the other side of the road before flipping onto its roof, landing in the trees with the car landing on the driver’s side.

“I woke up and remember someone screaming.

“I had to break the window closest to me by kicking it to get out of the car.”

The Northern Echo: Coalfield Lane, High Pittington, County Durham. Picture: Google MapsCoalfield Lane, High Pittington, County Durham. Picture: Google Maps (Image: Google Maps)

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It was not until they got that the four passengers realised Mr Patterson was not with them.

Mr Appleton said: “Someone said: ‘Where’s Leon? Where’s Leon?’ and I looked at the car and could see he was trapped under the car.

“I noticed he was moving his legs, but he wasn’t saying anything.

“We’d all gone over to the vehicle where we were trying to push the vehicle off Leon but the car was too heavy and was not moving.”

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Mr Patterson, who suffered severe chest injuries was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 8.13pm.

An investigation by Durham Constabulary found Mr Patterson was not insured to drive the Shogun, and as a provisional driving license holder, was driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

A forensic investigation included an examination of the Shogun which identified several faults.

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Police concluded it would not have passed an MOT and was not in a road-worthy condition.

A toxicological report found he was 1.5 times over the legal alcohol limit, with his blood alcohol concentration of 125mg in 100ml of blood.

He also had cocaine and pregabalin in his system, as well as non-recent use of Mirtazapine, anti-anxiety medication and cannabis metabolites.

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Janine Richards, assistant coroner for County Durham and Darlington said the cause of death was asphyxia.

She concluded that Mr Patterson died due to a road traffic collision.

She said: “Leon Roly Patterson died at Coalford Lane, Littletown, County Durham.

“Leon was not wearing his seatbelt at the time and was ejected out the open driver’s door window.

“The vehicle came to rest on the deceased’s upper body, trapping him underneath, and causing fatal traumatic asphyxia.

“The deceased had ingested excess alcohol, pregabalin, cocaine and cannabis, which likely impaired his judgement and coordination.”