Drug-driver's pickup cannoned off-duty detective's car into oncoming traffic

A143 Hepworth Road junction

An off-duty Suffolk police detective's car was pushed straight into the path of an oncoming car as it waited to turn into Hepworth Road from the A143 - Credit: Google

A drug-driver has been labelled "thoughtless and selfish" by an off-duty police detective whose car she ploughed into and sent careering towards oncoming traffic.

Ela Aves was handed 200 hours of unpaid work and banned from the road after causing the crash near Bury St Edmunds last October.

The 24-year-old appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court for sentencing on Friday after admitting careless driving and drug-driving at an earlier hearing on May 14.

At the time of the crash, at 1.48pm on October 18, Aves had in her system 139 microgrammes of cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine per litre of blood – the legal limit being 50mcg.

Prosecutor Mark Milkovics described how a Toyota Hilux, driven by Aves, collided with the back of the Suffolk police detective's Mazda as it waited to turn right into Hepworth Road from the A143 at Stanton – forcing it across the carriageway and into the path of an oncoming car.

All three cars incurred significant damage and the female driver of the Mazda was airlifted to hospital.

Reading to the court from a victim impact statement, the detective said she was forced to take three weeks off work and remained on restricted duties as a result of the collision.

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"I can't understand or reconcile how she didn't see me in order to react to my stationary position," she continued.

"This thoughtless, selfish behaviour has brought the effects of drug use, which I've seen for years in a professional capacity, directly into my personal life."

The court heard that Aves, who has no previous convictions and an otherwise clean driving licence, had been driving to pick up powdered milk for a calf on her family's farm.

Richard Oldroyd, mitigating, said Aves had admitted at the scene to taking cocaine a week previously.

"It's heart rending to hear the evidence of the officer," he added.

"I can't imagine what she has been through and nothing I say is intended to diminish the impact of this collision on her."

Mr Oldroyd said Aves was an ordinarily "very responsible woman", who no longer used cocaine and could not believe she had put herself in such an embarrassing position.

Aves, of Church Road, in Wilby, Norfolk, was handed a 12-month community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work, and banned from driving for 27 months.

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