Woman, 50, took cannabis and cocaine before veering across carriageway in fatal crash

Sarah Hand, 50, of Aragon Road, Haverhill, has been jailed for eight years. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE

Sarah Hand, 50, of Aragon Road, Haverhill, has been jailed for eight years. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE POLICE - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk woman who drank half a bottle of vodka and took drugs before causing a fatal crash has been jailed for eight years.

Sarah Hand, 50, of Aragon Road in Haverhill, tested positive for alcohol and drugs following a fatal collision in Cambrideshire last year.

She crashed a silver Ford Fiesta into a blue Nissan Micra and a grey Volkswagen Tiguan on the A1307 at Linton on December 22.

At about 12.15pm Hand was travelling west when the car mounted the southern verge and veered across both westbound lanes, the central grass reservation and collided with the Nissan Micra. The engine from Hand’s car detached and hit the Volkswagen which was travelling eastbound.

The Nissan’s driver, 56-year-old Gail Brown, of Lowry Close in Haverhill, Suffolk, sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.

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A 43-year-old man who was driving the Volkswagen suffered minor injuries.

At the roadside Hand admitted to the attending officer that she had consumed about half a bottle of vodka and provided a positive breath test of 90 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35.

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She also tested positive for cannabis following a roadside drugs test.

Hand was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was escorted by police to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to be treated for serious injuries.

In interview, Hand admitted being dependant on cannabis and alcohol and said she had also consumed cocaine that morning and the night before.

Hand appeared before Cambridge Crown Court today charged with two counts of causing death by careless driving while unfit through drugs, in relation to cannabis and cocaine, and causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed alcohol limit.

She pleaded guilty to all three charges and was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison.

Pc James Thorne, from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Forensic Collision Investigation Unit (FCIU), said: “This is an extremely sad case where a woman lost her life because of the selfish actions of another.

“While Hand fully accepted what she had done and is very remorseful for her actions, there is absolutely no excuse to ever get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

People can find more information about drink or drug driving on Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website.

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