Drug driver, 23, high on cannabis jailed after killing an elderly woman in road collision

Callum Brankin was high when he collided with Barbara Bragg's car in October 2019. (Essex Police)
Callum Brankin was high when he collided with Barbara Bragg's car in October 2019. (Essex Police)

A 23-year-old drug driver has been jailed after killing an elderly woman in a road collision.

Callum Brankin was driving a blue Mini Cooper along the A121 Mount Hill in Essex when he crashed into another car at about 11am on 12 October 2019.

Branking lost control of the car as he drove around a slight left-bend, Essex Police said.

As he tried to regain control of the car he veered into the opposite lane hitting a green Nissan Micra.

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The car was being driven by 87-year-old Barbara Bragg.

The elderly woman was rushed to hospital where she died the following evening.

Essex Police said officers who attended the scene found evidence of recent cannabis use in the

Footwell and door pockets of Brankin’s car.

Tests also showed that he was above the drug driving limit at the time of the collision.

Investigators also found that one of his front brakes and one of his rear brakes were worn down and a recent MOT had advised that they should be replaced.

Meanwhile, new replacement brake parts were also found in his car, suggesting Brankin had known the car’s brakes were badly worn.

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The 23-year-old admitted to causing death by careless driving while over the drug driving limit at Ipswich Crown Court last month.

Brankin was jailed for two years and one month at the same court on Friday.

He was also banned from driving for three years and will have to take an extended re-test.

During sentencing, the judge stated the fact Brankin, 23, had failed to maintain his brakes was an aggravating factor.

Sergeant Steve Holmes, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, called Brankin’s actions “wholly irresponsible”.

Holms said: “He got behind the wheel of a car he knew had defective brakes whilst also over the drug driving limit.

“He caused Barbara’s death and he will have to live with that on his conscience for the rest of his life.

“This case also highlights the tragic dangers of drug driving. Drugs affect your ability behind the wheel – they affect your judgement and your reaction speed.

“Drugs can stay in your system for days after you last had them and even if you don’t feel impaired, you still can be and you can still test positive for them,” Holmes added.

“If you’re caught drug driving you could lose your licence which could mean you lose your job. If you lose your job, you might not be able to pay your bills, so you could lose your home.

“Even worse, as this case shows, the consequences can be fatal and you could kill yourself or someone else."

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