A woman who killed two men in a horrific crash in Cambridgeshire was drug driving at the time of the incident, had no driving license, and had never had a driving lesson, Ipswich Crown Court has heard.
The 33-year-old was driving on the wrong side of the road, at a bend, when her Volkswagen collided with a Renault just before midnight on May 27 in Suffolk.
The 20-year-old driver of the Renault was killed, as was the 43-year-old front-seat passenger in the Volkswagen. Another female passenger in the rear seat of Volkswagen was taken to hospital with serious injuries including multiple fractures and facial injuries.
Neither the two men nor the female passenger were wearing seatbelts. The driver was treated in hospital for bruising and burns.
Michael Crimp, prosecuting, told the court that while there were no witnesses to the collision itself, a motorist who happened upon the scene told police that the driver appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.
Tests later revealed that the driver was more than 16 times the legal drug driving limit for cocaine. It was also discovered that not only had she never had a driving license but had never had a driving lesson either.
It is believed that she was travelling at 60-70mph on the 40mph road, and that the driver of the other vehicle was travelling at no more than 21mph.
During her police interview, the woman told officers that she was rushing out of Newmarket because she believed she had seen a police car.
Speaking for the defence, Joanne Eley said that her client was “hugely remorseful” and took full responsibility for the events of that evening.
The woman appeared via video link from HMP Peterborough and sobbed through proceedings, keeping her hands over her face as details of the incident were read out.
In a letter written to the court, the woman said: “No words will ever be able to describe how dreadfully sorry I am and the guilty I feel for the events of May 27.”
The woman had been recovering from an abusive relationship at the time of the incident.
“At the time she was using drugs as a coping mechanism,” said Miss Eley. She had left the destructive relationship she had been in and was trying to put that behind her.”
The woman pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving, one count of causing serious injury by careless driving, having no insurance, no driving licence and driving with an unlawful level of cocaine in her blood.
Sentencing her to eight years in prison and banning her from the roads for nine years, Judge John Devaux said that her excess speed, drugs, and having no formal driving training or license had all contributed to the seriousness of the offending.
Sgt Scott Lee-Amies, from the Suffolk Police Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “I hope that this sentence provides some closure to the victim’s families and sends out the strongest possible message from Suffolk Police that drink and drug driving and speeding ruins lives.”
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