BREAKING KENT

Man jailed over triple fatal horror crash in Hawkhurst

A collision in which three people died and a teenager was seriously injured has resulted in a man from Battle being jailed.

Jack Diamond, 30-years-old, of The Street, Sedlescombe, admitted three counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared before Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday, 8 May 2018.

At 9.30pm on Saturday, 23 September 2017 Diamond was driving a red Volvo Estate containing four passengers when the collision occurred instantly killing 50-year-old Stephen Jones and 44-year-old Roy Little. Chelsea-Rose Betts, who was 16-year-old, survived the initial collision but died 3 days later in Kings Hospital. Diamond and a 13-year-old boy also survived however the teenager sustained serious injuries.

The group had been to a pub in Hawkhurst and during the evening Diamond was seen to be drinking alcohol. The five left just before 9.30pm. Diamond drove along the A268, Rye Road towards Sandhurst and as they approached the small hamlet of Four Throws, the collision occurred.

The court heard from a witness who had seen the car prior to collision said that ‘it was an accident waiting to happen.’ Another described the vehicle speeding and said the manner of driving was ‘dangerous.’

The teenager, then 13-years-old, who had been seriously injured in the collision told police that Diamond had driven away from the pub ‘very quickly.’ He went onto say that the driver had increased his speed prior to the collision and he ‘felt something bad was going to happen.’ He described the moments before the collision saying as they went over the brow of the hill it felt as if the car was ‘airborne.’

When he appeared before the court Diamond admitted the charges. He was sentenced to seven-years and six-months for each fatality and three-years for the serious injury charge. The sentences will run concurrently. He has been disqualified from driving and will need to take an extended test to attain a driving licence.

Sergeant Hannah Brown, of Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: ‘The sentence reflects the severity of the incident. Three people have lost their lives as a result of Diamond’s reckless and dangerous actions.

‘He had been drinking; he was over the drink drive limit and was unable to keep control of the car. Untimely his actions caused the deaths innocent people.

‘Drink driving costs lives and it is a risk never worth taking. The fact that this was so easily preventable makes it even more tragic.’