Jail for driver who caused fatal collision after taking drugs

A man who admitted drug driving and causing a fatal collision near Sixpenny Handley has been jailed.

Daniel Jamie Samways, aged 37 and of Dean Lane in Sixpenny Handley, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 27 August 2021 after admitting a drug driving offence and causing death by careless driving.

He was sentenced to 16 months in jail and disqualified from driving for two years, with the ban due to begin on his release from prison.

Dorset Police received a report at around 6pm on Saturday 1 February 2020 of a collision on the B3081 in the area of the Handley Cross Roundabout near Sixpenny Handley. The vehicles involved were an Isuzu D-Max pick-up, an Audi A3 and a Volkswagen Up.

Emergency services attended and the driver of the Volkswagen, 37-year-old Ella Cooper from Ringwood, was taken to Southampton General Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Very sadly, she died on the morning of Friday 7 February 2020.

Samways, who was the driver of the Isuzu, was taken to Salisbury Hospital for the treatment to injuries sustained in the collision. While he was in hospital, a specimen of his blood was taken for analysis.

It was found to contain benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, at a presence of 52 micrograms per litre of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.

Sergeant Nikki Burt, of the traffic unit, said: “This case is another sad demonstration of the truly awful consequences of someone getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs.

“Our thoughts remain with Ella’s family, who have lost their loved one as a result of Daniel Samways’ actions on 1 February 2020.

“We are committed to doing all we can to take action against people who put lives at risk by driving on Dorset’s roads while under the influence of drink or drugs.”

Ella’s family has issued the following tribute: “Words can not describe the pain and loss we all feel.

“A giant void has been left in our hearts and in our lives, never to be filled until we meet again.

“Ella, we’re so proud of everything you achieved in your life – a life which was cut too short. Your many travels and adventures showed us all how to enjoy life.

“Completing your MBA whilst working full time as head of Vitality Care reminded us all how tough and hard working you always were.

“We’ll miss your generosity. Generous with your time, with your smile and with everything you had.

“All who knew you were swept up in the abundant love of family and life you radiated.

“You were more than just a sister, a friend, a daughter, a fiancé, an aunt, you were the very best to all of us.

“We love you Ella and the world is a little bit dimmer without you to brighten it.”

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