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Suicidal computer expert kills himself and another in 140mph crash

Drove down wrong side of motorway high as a kite

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A suicidal young computer engineer killed himself and another driver in a deliberate 140mph smash in Southampton, an inquest was told yesterday.

James Morgan, 25, was high on ecstasy and cocaine when he decided to drive his Peugeot 306 down the wrong way of the M27 at 70 miles an hour. In the hours before the crash at 2am, Mr Morgan sent over 20 text messages to his friends.

Shortly before he ploughed into an oncoming Nissan Micra - also travelling at 70mph - he sent a message to his housemate Emmeline Payne which said: "I am going to be spiteful for the first time in my life and what will happen is your fault. You will have that over you for the rest of your life."

Police had received dozens of calls from motorists that saw Mr Morgan scream past them on the wrong side of the motorway but before anything could be done, he swerved into the Micra - driven by lorry driver David Beattie, 43 - and hit it head on. The Peugeot exploded and the Micra was knocked off the road and caught fire. Both men died. Nearly every bone in Mr Beattie's body was broken.

Friends of Mr Morgan received text messages clearly indicating his suicidal intentions. "Thanks for being such a good mate. I want you to have my records," read one. "You won't be seeing me again but please don't think it is your fault," another.

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide for Mr Morgan and of unlawful killing for Mr Beattie. ®

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