Eight years jail for drink and drug driver who caused fatal collision

Sarah Hand has been jailed.

Sarah Hand has been jailed. - Credit: Archant

A woman who tested positive for being under the influence of alcohol and drugs following a fatal collision in South Cambridgeshire has been jailed for eight years.

Sarah Hand, 50, of Aragon Road in Haverhill, Suffolk, was arrested on 23 December last year (2017) after the silver Ford Fiesta she was driving was in collision with a blue Nissan Micra and a grey Volkswagen Tiguan on the A1307 at Linton the previous day (22 December).

At about 12.15pm Hand was travelling west when the car mounted the southern grass verge, she veered right across both westbound lanes, across 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.

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

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. 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.

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

Hand appeared before Cambridge Crown Court today (Friday, 2 February) 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.”

For information about drink or drug driving, visit the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website here www.cambs.police.uk/drinkdrugdriving.