21 January 2019
A man has been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving after a collision near Weymouth.
John Joe Darch, 25 and of Ranelagh Road in Weymouth, was found guilty by a jury at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday 27 November 2018.
He was sentenced today, Monday 21 January 2019, to seven years in prison and banned from driving for five years. The ban will only start once he is released from prison, with a requirement to take an extended retest.
The collision happened at around 8.30am on Wednesday 17 May 2017 along the B3157 Coast Road.
Darch was travelling from Weymouth toward Portesham in his grey BMW 530, while the victim - a 37-year-old man from Portishead - was travelling in his black Hyundai i30 in the opposite direction when both vehicles collided.
Witnesses described seeing Darch's vehicle overtaking other cars at high speed in poor weather conditions prior to the collision.
Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Collision investigators said that Darch was on the wrong side of the road at the point of impact, with the victim's vehicle being on the correct side of the road.
Darch was taken to Dorset County Hospital before he was transferred to Southampton General Hospital and placed in an induced coma. He sustained a fractured skull, deflated lung and fractures to his arms and legs.
Inspector Joe Pardey, of the traffic unit, said: "John Joe Darch's dangerous and reckless driving cost the life of an innocent man and my thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
"Darch was seen by witnesses prior to the collision overtaking other vehicles with complete disregard to fellow road users. The driving conditions at the time were extremely poor - with heavy rain increasing braking distance and reducing reaction times. He drove in a dangerous manner and took unnecessary risks. If he had driven safely and sensibly a family would still be with a husband, father, son and brother."
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