Builder killed two people in crash while 16 times over the drug-driving limit

The VW Polo in which Richard Clements-Lewis, 46, and his passenger Maria Smith, 48, died
The VW Polo in which Richard Clements-Lewis, 46, and his passenger Maria Smith, 48, died

A builder who was 16 times the legal drug-driving limit when he crashed at high speed in a seaside town, killing two people, has been jailed.

Jodan Hunt's dangerous driving killed Richard Clements-Lewis, 46, and his passenger Maria Smith, 48, in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on August 12.

Jodan Hunt

Witnesses said father-of-two Hunt, 24, was travelling at up to double the 30mph speed limit in his Seat Leon when it first crashed into the pair's VW Polo.

Hunt's car then careered into a BMW 330d and an Audi A3 at the junctions of King Edward's Parade, South Cliff and Bolsover Road.

Before he crashed, Hunt was seen weaving between anti-terror barriers - put in place to stop a Nice-style atrocity at the resort's popular summer Airbourne airshow.

Following the collision, Hunt fled on foot, but he was traced a mile away at the Cavendish Hotel where two hours earlier he had attended a wedding reception.

At Guildford Crown Court on Thursday, Hunt, of Hobart Quay, Eastbourne, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, Sussex Police said.

He was banned from driving for eight years and will have to take an extended retest if he wants to get behind the wheel following his release, a police spokesman added.

Sergeant Dan Pitcher, of the East Sussex Roads Policing Team, said Hunt was over the drink-drive limit, with 46mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The limit is 35mg.

"But most shockingly, he also tested positive for having 800mcg of benzoylecgonine - the major metabolite of cocaine - per litre of blood in his system. The legal limit is 50mcg, meaning he was an incredible 16 times the legal limit," Mr Pitcher said.

He added: "The defendant pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and accepts full responsibility for his actions. He expressed extreme remorse in court and he wished to extend his regrets to the family of the deceased.

"Fortunately, this has been a swift process which has led to an immediate custodial sentence for Hunt."