A lorry driver has been jailed for four and a half years after he took cocaine and then crashed his vehicle into a car, killing the driver.

Bradley Simmonds, 49, was found to have taken the Class A drug before the waste removal lorry he was driving collided with the car near to St Nicholas at Wade.

Kent Police was called to a coastbound stretch of the A299 between Herne Bay and Birchington on 16 August 2021, where a car was in a ditch at the side of the road.

South East Coast Ambulance Service was in attendance and treated the driver of the car, who had sustained life-threatening injuries.

Despite the efforts of emergency services, he was declared deceased at the scene a short while later.

Witnesses reported that the man’s car had been stationary on the road with hazard lights flashing, after it had apparently broken down on the dual carriageway.

Traffic was moving around the car and into the adjacent lane, but a waste removal lorry that was being driven by Simmonds collided with the back of the car and forced it off the road.

Kent Police’s serious collision investigation unit (SCIU) began an investigation, which led to Simmonds being charged.

A test showed he had 11 times more than the specified limit of benzoylecgonine in his blood, a chemical which indicated the driver had taken cocaine prior to the fatal collision.

Simmonds pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving when over the prescribed limit, and was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 years.

Detective Constable Claire Fullagar, of Kent Police’s SCIU, said: “We are grateful to the witnesses in this case who came forward and provided accounts that helped to secure the conviction of the lorry driver, whose actions on that day have changed lives forever.

“This devastating incident has caused immeasurable grief to the victim’s family, who our specialist officers continue to support, and shows the catastrophic consequences of taking drugs.”