A drug-driver has been jailed after a 13-year-old boy was killed as he was crossing the road.

34-year-old James Lavine was driving along Switchback Road North, Maidenhead on December 21 last year, when he hit 13-year-old Max Simmons, as he was crossing the road.

Max was taken to hospital but sadly died as a result of his injuries later that day. Lavine was charged on December 22.

Lavine pleaded guilty to one count of death by careless driving whilst over the prescribed drug limit at an earlier hearing on May 19.


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At Reading Crown Court today (July 16) Lavine, of Boundary Road, Wooburn Green, was sentenced to six years and nine months’ imprisonment.

Senior Investigating Officer, PC Victoria Jones, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “James Lavine got into his car and drove carelessly on 21 December with no thought or regard for anyone but himself.

“Max Simmons was just going to meet friends, a young boy eagerly awaiting Christmas with his family.

“Lavine knew he had consumed drugs the evening before and medical evidence heard in court suggested that the combined use of the drugs detected in his system increased the statistical likelihood of a collision by 27 times.

“Lavine drove carelessly by exceeding the speed limit, he struck Max when he was in the road but he had not seen him before because of the manner in which he was driving.

“Drug driving has devastating consequences. Drugs, just like alcohol, have lasting effects, you should not assume that because you feel ok to drive that you are.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of Max Simmons.”