Driver under the influence of cannabis caused death

A man was killed and two passengers suffered horror injuries in a head-on crash caused by a driver who was under the influence of cannabis.

Thursday, 5th July 2018, 1:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th July 2018, 2:00 pm

Karl Roberts, 24, was lockedup for six years, three months, after a Leeds Crown Court heard how he lost control of his car after smoking the drug.

Victor Watkins, 52, suffered fatal injuries in the incident on Hemsworth Road, Hemsworth, on June 18, 2016.

Two of Roberts’s passengers, Nathan Kirby, 24, and Jake Cooper, 25, suffered life-changing brain injuries.

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Michael Morley, prosecuting, said Roberts lost control of his Ford Focus at a bend in wet conditions shortly after midnight.

Mr Morley said Roberts’s car “rolled” on top of Mr Watkins’s Peugeot during the collision.

Mr Watkins died at the scene.

Roberts and two of the passengers had to be cut from the wreckage and were in comas after the incident.

Mr Cooper and Mr Kirby had to undergo life-saving surgery after suffering multiple injuries including broken ribs and pelvic fractures.

The two men also suffered permanent brain injuries and will be unable to work again.

A blood sample taken from Roberts after the crash showed he was above the legal driving limit for cannabis.

Roberts, of First Avenue, South Kirkby, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving when driving over the proscribed limit.

Stephen Grattage, mitigating, said Roberts was “deeply sorry” for causing Mr Watkins’s death and the injuries to his two friends.

Mr Grattage said Roberts had no memory of the crash due to the injuries he had also suffered.

Jailing Roberts, Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “I can see that you bitterly regret the outcome. But you chose to drive that car.”