A LORRY driver who took crack cocaine and heroin hours before falling asleep at the wheel caused a crash which killed two men – including a father of two from Trowbridge.

Wayne Wellington veered off the A34 near Bullington in Hampshire in 2018.

His vehicle crashed into Vipin Kumar, 43, and Kevin Ackrell, 49, who had been exchanging details at the side of the road after a minor collision.

Father-of-one Mr Kumar, from Reading, died at the scene and Mr Ackrell, of Brown Street, Trowbridge, who had two sons and a daughter, died in hospital three days later.

Wellington, of Sheepridge Road in Huddersfield, was jailed for nine years after being found guilty of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and banned from driving for ten years.

The 41-year-old had previously admitted two lesser charges of causing death by careless driving and driving a motor vehicle with a proportion of a controlled drug above the specified limit.

Winchester Crown Court heard Wellington's girlfriend, who was a passenger in his cab at the time of the crash, had urged him not to drive as he had seemed "dopey".

She said he had started taking crack and heroin the night before, finishing it in the early hours.

Wellington's lorry came off the road at 9.19am on July 3 and hit the back of Mr Ackrell's van.

It took nine seconds for the lorry, which was travelling at 60mph, to come to a stop and no braking had occurred before impact, the court heard.

Defence barrister James Bloomer said his client wanted to apologise to the victims' family for his "dreadful error".

Sentencing Wellington, Judge Jane Miller QC told him he had "dozed off" and that his drug-taking caused the "terrible accident".

She said the two victims had been doing the "sensible thing" by exchanging details and that his lorry had acted as a "lethal weapon".

Detective Sergeant Tony Jenkins, of Hampshire Police, said: “Having taken drugs the night before, he essentially slid from his bed to the driver’s seat upon waking up and set about driving his lorry. When officers attended they performed a drugs wipe and found he was over the legal limit for cocaine.

“As part of our subsequent investigations officers found that no attempt had been made to brake before the collision and the accelerator was at 100 per cent.“His actions have had devastating consequences for the families of his victims.”