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Family’s shock at Rossendale man's cocaine death
THE family of a Rossendale heavy plant machine operator were left in shock when he died after collapsing suddenly in the street, an inquest heard.
Driver Stephen Toolan, 49, was found in the street by a passer-by in Whitworth, but he was only able to mumble a few unintelligible words, Burnley Coroner’s Court was told.
His brother Liam Toolan told an inquest that Stephen, of Masseycroft, Whitworth, had only just recently returned to work after looking after their father for a number of years.
Dr Walid Salman, a consultant pathologist, who conducted a post-mortem examination said there was evidence in Mr Toolan’s urine that he had taken cocaine, some time before his death.
The doctor also told the hearing there was evidence he had consumed alcohol. But it appeared he had not taken excessive quantities of either.
But Dr Salman said there was some evidence of narrowing of coronary arteries, following an internal examination.
Speaking of the drug use, Liam Toolan said: “Personally I was surprised that it was in his system. A few years ago I might not have been surprised. But in the last few years that sort of thing would not have been part of his life.”
He told the inquest the pair often used to go sailing together.
Recording an accidental verdict, East Lancashire deputy coroner, after consulting Dr Salman said the combination on cocaine and alcohol may have given the deceased an irregular heartbeat.
And this may have caused Mr Toolan’s collapse and eventual death later, the inquest heard.