Home » Driver who had taken cocaine jailed over Headcorn collision

Driver who had taken cocaine jailed over Headcorn collision

A van driver who had never held a licence and had consumed Class A drugs before causing a serious collision in Headcorn has been sentenced to prison.

Forensic tests showed Karl Willoughby had traces of cocaine in his system, when a Ford Transit he was driving collided with two vehicles last year. Willoughby had reached speeds of up to 75 mph in an area with a 30mph limit, when the collision happened on 18 July 2018.

He was travelling along the A274 Biddenden Road, when he lost control on a humpback bridge causing the van to become airborne. It collided with a Skoda Fabia and a Suzuki Grand Vitara which had been travelling from the opposite direction. The incident led to injuries to two women, one of whom had to be removed from her vehicle by fire crews. Willoughby was also injured after becoming trapped in the Transit which overturned.

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Kent Police launched an investigation and when Willoughby was initially spoken to he provided false details, giving a different name. A urine sample was taken which showed the presence of cocaine and cannabis. Willoughby, aged 33, of Milner Grove, Hartlepool, Cleveland, said he was using the van for work purposes but confessed he had never held a driving licence or even taken a test.

Appearing before Maidstone Crown Court he pleaded guilty to counts of dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving with no insurance and driving without a licence. Willoughby was sentenced on Tuesday 25 June 2019 to 15 months imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for almost five years and will be required to take an extended test.

Sergeant Peter Greaves of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: ‘Willoughby was driving so recklessly that at one stage witnesses reported seeing the van flying through the air. Quite simply, he should never have been behind the wheel, having no licence and having also previously consumed quantities of Class A drugs and cannabis.  His actions have caused significant injury to two other drivers who will have to live with their effects for a considerable time. I would like to thank them for their assistance throughout this investigation.’