Drug driver suggested he was spiked at restaurant before head-on crash

The scene of the crash last June 10 <i>(Image: Sussex Police)</i>
The scene of the crash last June 10 (Image: Sussex Police)

A drug driver who seriously injured a man in a head-on crash suggested he was spiked at a restaurant.

Charlie Bedworth, 37, had nearly six times the legal limit of cocaine in his blood when he didn’t see a car ahead of him indicating to turn right off the Selsey Road in Hunston, near Chichester.

He attempted to dodge the crash but in doing so drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

A 53-year-old man from Selsey was seriously injured in the collision and was airlifted to hospital.

The Argus: Charlie Bedworth has been jailed
The Argus: Charlie Bedworth has been jailed

Charlie Bedworth has been jailed (Image: Sussex Police)

He still needs treatment and rehabilitation for his injuries nearly a year after the crash.

At Portsmouth Crown Court on May 10, Bedworth, unemployed of Justin Close, Brentford, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drug driving.

He was sentenced to four years in prison and was disqualified from driving for five years.

The court heard how the incident happened at about 7.40am on June 10 last year.

A Range Rover driver ahead of Bedworth had indicated to make a right turn.

But Bedworth, driving at speed in an Audi Q5, did not see the vehicle braking for the turn.

At the last moment, he swerved into the path of an oncoming Kia Picanto.

Bedworth failed a roadside drug wipe test which indicated cocaine in his body.

His later blood test showed he had 296 micrograms (ug) of the chemical breakdown of cocaine, called benzoylecgonine, per litre of blood in his body.

The legal limit for this chemical breakdown product is 50ug per litre of blood in the body.

At a police interview he initially claimed he had not taken any drugs and speculated he may have had a drink spiked while dining at a restaurant.

But when asked how two independent tests could be wrong, and asked if he had taken any drugs in the seven days before the crash, he refused to answer.

Investigating officer PC Tom Van Der Wee from the Roads Policing Unit said: “Bedworth’s driving was appalling and dangerous.

“We are determined to catch drug drivers before they cause similar harm to other innocent road users.

“Bedworth is incredibly lucky not to have caused the death or further serious harm to himself and others that day.”