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5 YEARS: Dangerous driver jailed after killing 22-year-old man near Maidstone

Friday 19th July 2019

A DRIVER has been jailed for five years following a fatal collision involving a 22 year old man near Maidstone.

At around 9.15pm on December 4 2017, John Verlander (38) was driving a Citroen C4 on Linton Hill towards Staplehurst behind two other cars. As they approached a bend, he overtook the two vehicles but lost control of his car as it returned to the correct side.

It then veered onto the other side of the road colliding with an oncoming Ford Fiesta travelling towards Linton.

The Ford Fiesta, driven by a 22-year-old man from the Hastings area, came to a halt in a ditch at the side of the road. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Verlander of Chambers Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex was later charged and pleaded not guilty at Maidstone Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving. He was convicted after a four-day trial and sentenced at the same court on July 18 2019 to five years in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for seven years and six months and will be required to take an extended driving test.

Investigating officer, Police Constable Simon Masterson of Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: "The driver’s decision to overtake two cars showed appalling judgement and led to the needless death of a young man.

"This tragic incident should send a clear message to motorists that they must think twice and not attempt dangerous manoeuvres as they can lead to serious injury or worse."