South East Wales

Cardiff death crash trial: Cocaine in driver's blood

Crash scene - Western Ave, Cardiff, Sept 2015 Image copyright Wales News Service

A driver who survived a head-on crash in which a five-year-old passenger was killed had taken cocaine before driving, a trial has been told.

Joseph Smith suffered multiple injuries when the Ford Focus car he was travelling in smashed into oncoming traffic on Cardiff's Western Avenue.

Dean Collins, 24, from St Mellons, denies causing death by dangerous driving in September 2015.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he had taken cocaine at some point before the crash.

Toxicologist Sarah Tarrant-Wooding told the jury on Friday a sample of blood taken from Mr Collins showed a presence of cocaine which was too small to accurately measure.

The court heard it was not possible to say how the drug would have affected Mr Collins' actions, but Ms Tarrant-Wooding said it had most likely been taken the night before the crash.

She said, as the drug was a stimulant, users often experienced "down" effects, including "drowsiness and apathy" as it wears off.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption As Joseph Smith was not wearing a booster seat, it meant the seatbelt was across his neck

Joseph, who was wearing a seatbelt but was not on a booster seat, suffered broken limbs, a fractured spine, head and internal injuries in the crash.

The jury heard Mr Collins crossed three lanes and only the collision stopped him. Four other people were also injured.

When interviewed by police, Mr Collins said he did not do anything to cause the accident and felt Joseph was "tall for his age" so did not need a booster seat.

Mr Collins also denies four charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The case continues.

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