Newtown death crash driver on drug jailed


court reporter

A NEWTOWN man has been jailed for six years after causing the death of his girlfriend in a car crash when he was on liquid ecstasy.

Anderson Ward, 39, of Bryn Street, Newtown, was found guilty after trial of death by dangerous driving, driving an unlicensed vehicle and possession of class B and C drugs.

Winchester Crown Court heard how his girlfriend of 14 years, Marie Hardes, died as a result of a collision on November 10, 2014, at around 6.45pm on the M3.

Ward was driving his Honda Accord northbound, between junctions 10 and 9, when he lost control of the vehicle and collided with the central reservation barrier.

 His car span and came to a stop sideways across lane three, at which point both he and Miss Hardes tried to get out of the car.

As they did this, a BMW M6 collided with the passenger side of the Honda and Miss Hardes.

The two cars came to a stop across lanes two and three when a BMW M5 also collided with the Honda.

Sadly Miss Hardes, 56, from Poole, suffered multiple injuries and was taken to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Ward suffered minor injuries and the other drivers were uninjured.

A drugs test carried out shortly after the collision revealed that Ward had liquid ecstasy in his system.

Ward pleaded not guilty to all charges but a jury found him guilty on all counts on Friday, February 10.

He was also sentenced to one year in prison for causing death by driving a vehicle while unlicensed, six months for possession of a Class B drug and six months for possession of a Class C drug, all to run concurrently.

He was also disqualified from driving for seven years.

Sergeant Mark Furse, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was a collision and a death that could have been prevented.

“Ward got behind the wheel of his car knowing that he had taken the drug despite the obvious dangers and the risk to his own life and the lives of others.

“He showed total disregard for the safety of others and as a result of his irresponsible and selfish actions his girlfriend of 14 years was killed.

“I hope this case will show others just how dangerous driving after taking drugs can be and hopefully will make others think before doing the same.

“It is not worth the risk.

“Our officers are now better equipped than ever to catch those who drive after taking drugs and we will continue to take action against those who persist to ignore the dangers and put lives at risk.”

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