A Salisbury man has been jailed for killing a woman whilst drug driving in Dorset last year.
Daniel Samways, 37, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court today (August 27) having previously entered a guilty plea to causing death by careless driving whilst exceeding the drug-drive limit.
The defendant 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.
The driver of one of the vehicles, 37-year-old Ella Cooper, suffered fatal injuries. Her passenger sustained also significant injuries, as did the occupants of a third vehicle involved.
A toxicology report showed that Samways had cocaine and benzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine, in his system at the time of the collision.
Senior crown prosecutor Alison Saunders 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.”
Samways was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.
Days after the fatal collision, Miss Cooper’s family released this statement: “Ella was the kind of person you could not forget.
“She had the amazing ability to make so many feel special. Every day she lived life in full and made sure her many adventures were experienced with someone she loved.
“Ella was thoughtful, loving, generous, smart, hardworking and fiercely determined in all that she did. This year was set to be her best year yet as she looked forward to her wedding.
“So much of her life was still left to be fulfilled. We will miss her contagious energy, happiness and enthusiasm for life.
“She will be missed by all she met, her effect on others was profound. We love you Ella and the world is a little bit dimmer without you to brighten it.”
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