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Drug driver jailed for causing fatal road traffic collision

|News, Driving offences

A man from Salisbury has been jailed for 16 months today (27 August 2021) at Bournemouth Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving when exceeding the prescribed drug limit.

Daniel Samways, aged 37, was driving along the B3081 towards Sixpenny Handley during the early evening of 1 February 2020, when he drifted out of his lane and straddled the central white line in the middle of the carriageway.

This act of careless driving resulted in Samways’ vehicle colliding with the oncoming traffic and tragically caused fatal injury to Ella Cooper, a 37 year old woman who was driving one of the cars involved in the collision. Ella’s passenger and the occupants of a second car also suffered significant injuries.

A toxicology report showed that Samways had cocaine and benzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine, in his system at the time of the collision.

Alison Saunders, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “The overwhelming evidence from witnesses, toxicology and a collision expert meant that Samways had to plead guilty in this case.

“Samways was over the prescribed limit for a specified drug, and had other drugs in his system which no doubt contributed to his impairment, that resulted in him drifting across the central line and colliding with Ella’s vehicle.

“Ella’s death has had a devastating impact on her family and friends, and it is an absolutely tragic consequence of Samways’ absolute carelessness. We hope that Ella’s family and friends will feel that justice has been delivered today.”

Notes to editors

  • Daniel Samways (DOB: 31/05/1984) has been sentenced to 16 months imprisonment. 

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