A father died after he allowed his seven-year-old son to drive at 70mph along a motorway.

Divorced Peter Mourier, aged 50, of Kingshill, Kempsey, Worcestershire, encouraged the youngster to lean over from the passenger seat and take control of the Rover 216 as it raced along the M5 motorway in Gloucestershire.

His two older sons, Joseph, aged 15, and nine-year-old Isaac, who were sitting in the back, pleaded with their father not to allow David to steer.

The industrial cleaner, who had been drinking but was not over the legal limit, was killed when the vehicle hit an object between junctions 12 and 11A, and veered off the carriageway before smashing into a tree.

Mr Mourier died of head injuries, while his sons escaped with only minor injuries. Joseph told an inquest in Gloucester that his father had asked the seven-year-old: "Do you want to help change lanes?"

He told police that he had argued with his father, telling him he could kill someone.

In recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Alan Crickmore said Mr Mourier had been "excessively foolish" and exonerated his son of any blame in the accident.