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Man jailed for crash that killed mother and left teens badly injured

Tereasa Cutler (centre) with her children Alice Cutler and Dan Cutler
Tereasa Cutler (centre) with her children Alice Cutler and Dan Cutler

A man has been jailed for causing a car crash which killed a mother-of-two as she was on her way to her sister's wake.

Tereasa Cutler, 49, died after a BMW 3 Series driven by Lewis Faulkner crashed head-on into her Ford Fiesta.

She was driving her children Alice and Dan Cutler, then aged 18 and 16 respectively, and her nephew Joe Woodland, then 19, back from the funeral of her sister Patricia Woodland - Mr Woodland's mother - at the time.

Faulkner, 25, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court to four years and four months in prison, Dorset Police said, after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving, three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and one of causing death while uninsured.

Police said Faulkner, of Coburg Road in Dorchester, had failed to negotiate a "gradual" left-hand bend on the A31 near Lake Gates, in Wimborne, Dorset, and both cars were "hurled into the air" following the collision at around 4.13pm on June 10 2015.

The teenagers in Mrs Cutler's car, which came to rest in a hedge, suffered "life-changing" injuries and Faulkner and his passenger were also seriously injured.

Faulkner had no alcohol in his blood but tests showed traces of cannabis and ecstasy, which were below the legal limit but which a toxicologist claimed could have impaired his awareness as part of the "come-down effects". He was also driving the car for work purposes, which was not covered by his insurance.

Tereasa had just taken on parental responsibility for Mr Woodland following his mother's death, police said.

Miss Cutler, in a victim impact statement, said her mother's death was a "needless loss" and it had changed the family's life "irreparably".

She said: "I lost my mum, my best friend and became an orphan.

"I no longer feel safe in a car. I no longer feel safe and reassured because it has been demonstrated to me that things like this really do happen to ordinary families.

"I feel vulnerable on a daily basis because I do not have my mum there to comfort me and guide me. Instead, all I have is a grave which provides me with little comfort. An accident like this changes you: you see the world differently."

Faulkner was also handed an extended driving disqualification for four years and eight months and told he would have to taken an extended re-test before getting his licence back.

Sergeant Lee Savage, of Dorset Police's Road Traffic Unit, said: "We still do not know why Faulkner failed to negotiate the bend and caused this head-on collision. The prosecution case was that he must have fallen asleep and this case highlights the dangers of driving while tired and after using recreational drugs.

"This is one of the most heart-breaking cases I have dealt with and I would like to pay tribute to them for the strength they have shown throughout this tragic time."