A DRUNK-driver veered into the wrong side of the road before smashing head-on into an oncoming minicab during a late night fatal crash in rural Oxfordshire.

Both 39-year-old Richard Lock and 34-year-old Khayelihle Gwala died as a result of the collision on the A424 in the early hours of December 9 last year.

At the inquests into the deaths yesterday, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Lock had been drinking steadily at a family member’s wedding in the Bay Tree Hotel in Burford, throughout the day before.

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The ‘extroverted’ character, who also had traces of cocaine in his system, had taken to the stage to sing and play guitar before things turned sour and he argued with his wife and took off in the family car, ignoring the pleas of his relatives.

The court heard how Mr Lock, from Upton Saint Leonards in Gloucestershire, was seen driving erratically out of Burford including slamming on the brakes at traffic lights and persistently clipping the grass verge as he drove towards Stow-on-the-Wold.

Collision investigator David Watson said, for unknown reasons, Mr Lock decided to turn around and drive back towards Burford but lost control on a sharp left bend, due to his intoxication, and ended up on the wrong side of the road.

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Coming in the opposite direction, South African Mr Gwala, from Chipping Campden, was on his way back to Stow having dropped a passenger in Burford.

He would have had less than two seconds to react to seeing Mr Lock's car coming towards him, according to Mr Watson.

Mr Lock died on the scene while Mr Gwala died 10 days later in hospital, both as a result of their injuries.

Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham said: "It must have been a sad day for both these families and I express my condolences for the sad loss of two young lives.

He recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision.