Bakewell: Driver took cocktail of drugs before smash

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A woman who crashed head- on into a tree in Bakewell had taken an overdose of anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, a court heard.

Susan Denison had wanted to kill herself, but hadn’t planned to crash her car, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

Police were called to a crash on an unclassified road between Shutts Lane and Concksbury Bridge at around 12.30pm on June 10, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said.

On arrival, they found a Nissan Qashqai which had collided head on with a tree, causing extensive damage to the vehicle. Driver Denison was unconscious and was airlifted to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.

Inside the vehicle, two empty blister packs containing two weeks of medication were found, Mrs Fitzgerald said.

Staff from Denison’s doctor’s surgery had called police the day before when she attended for an appointment because they were concerned for her safety after she had told them of her intention to harm herself.

While at hospital, blood samples were taken and Denison was found to have taken a total combination of 28 Venlafaxine anti-depressants and Zolpidem sleeping tablets.

In interview, she told police her uncle had recently died and she had been left to sort through his possessions. She said she had spent the week travelling between her home in Matlock and her uncle’s address in Crewe and was tired so had been prescribed the sleeping tablets.

She said her husband had passed away and was buried in Bakewell and she wanted to go there and curl up and die on his grave, Mrs Fitzgerald said.

Denison, 42, of Main Road, Wensley, admitting driving a vehicle whilst unfit through drugs.

Julie Page, defending, said: “This incident occurred following the death of her uncle, somebody she was very close to growing up.

“She drove with the intention of going to her husband’s grave and lying down there and if she died, she died, and if not at least she was with him.”

Dennison was fined £110, ordered to pay £85 costs, and a £20 surcharge, and banned from driving for 22 months.