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M11 driver who had cocaine and cannabis in his system cleared of causing death of passenger who was hit by a taxi

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A drug driver has been found not guilty of causing the death of his passenger who was hit by a taxi as he tried to cross the M11 to safety after a crash.

However, a jury convicted Ryan Farthing, 25, of careless driving and driving whilst over the specified limit for a controlled drug.

He was driving southbound in heavy snow just after 8.15pm on March 2, 2018 when he lost control of his BMW near junction 7 at Harlow.

The car hit the central reservation and span, leaving it facing oncoming traffic. Farthing managed to get out and take refuge behind the crash barrier.

His passenger, Reece Gnazalo, tried to cross the motorway but was struck by an oncoming taxi. The 22-year-old from Bexleyheath, south-east London, died at the scene.

The taxi driver, who could not see him because of his dark clothing, has faced no legal action.

Farthing later tested positive for traces of cocaine and cannabis in his system. He was found to be driving whilst over the legal limit for benzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine.

Farthing, of Bedonwell Road, Bexleyheath, denied causing death by careless driving when over the specified limit for a controlled drug.

He stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday (Mar 8) and was found not guilty of the most serious charge by a jury on Friday (Mar 12).

He was convicted of the two other offences and was banned from driving for 18 months and fined £175.

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