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Prison for drug driver following a fatal collision with a motorcyclist

A driver who admitted to taking cocaine before causing a collision which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist will spend the next 32 months in prison after he was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on Friday (30 June).

Harry Carpenter, 29, DOB 6/3/1994, was also disqualified from driving for 46 months, with the requirement to take an extended test, after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

Carpenter was driving his Ford Ranger 4×4 when the collision occurred on the bridge over the M25 in Dorking Road, Walton-on-the Hill, around 2.40pm on 1 January 2022.

He was driving northbound towards the bridge when he crossed into the opposite lane, colliding with the side of a red Citroen DS3 before crashing head-on into a Harley Davidson motorbike ridden by 60-year-old Christopher Brandham.

Despite CPR attempts made at the roadside by members of the public, Mr Brandham was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Carpenter admitted he had taken cocaine the previous evening and a roadside drugs test also tested positive. He was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving while over the specified limit, before later being further arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.  

The toxicology results confirmed the presence of cocaine in Carpenter’s system, with the result being 128mgl per 100mgl of breath, putting him over one and a half times the legal limit.

PC Matt Lloyd from the Serious Collision Investigation Team which investigated the collision, said: “Carpenter had taken cocaine and then made a decision to get behind the wheel of his car with devastating consequences. His actions have led to the death of a man whose only part in this was to be on the same road at the same time as him and our sympathies go out to the friends and family of Christopher Brandham, who are still trying to come to terms with their loss.

“Hopefully the sentence given to Carpenter last week will help them begin to come to terms with what has happened as well as being a stark reminder to other drivers that driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is never worth the risk and can result in the loss of someone’s life.”


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