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Driver Valdis Labeckis allegedly drank alcohol before Maidstone death crash, court told

Paul Carwithen, from Maidstone, was killed in a car crash on New Year's Day

by Keith Hunt

A driver accused of causing the death of one pedestrian and seriously injuring another on New Year's Day is alleged to have been under the influence of alcohol, a court heard today.

Latvian Valdis Labeckis, of Old Tovil Road, Maidstone, was appearing for a preliminary hearing at the town's crown court.

The 21-year-old factory worker is charged with causing the death by dangerous driving of Paul Carwithen, 34, and dangerous driving involving Maria-Louise Cook.

Mr Carwithen, (pictured above) of Linley Close, Maidstone, and 29-year-old Miss Cook had been to London for New Year's Eve and were walking to a friend's house in the early hours when they were struck by a BMW 320 at the lower end of Postley Road and Old Tovil Road.Maria-Louise Cook was seriously injured in a crash in Old Tovil Road, Maidstone, on New Year's Day

Maria-Louise Cook was seriously injured in a crash in Old Tovil Road, Maidstone, on New Year's Day

Mr Carwithen, who worked with Miss Cook at Morrisons supermarket in Sutton Road, went through the windscreen of the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Miss Cook was taken to London's King's College Hospital, where her condition was serious but stable.

The BMW, which also struck two stationary vehicles, was owned by Ugis Luksa. Monta Kovisade was a front seat passenger and Linda Rubine was in the back seat.The scene of a fatal collision, where a BMW car collided with a male and female pedestrian, killing the male and putting the female in hospital. Old Tovil Road, Maidstone.

The scene of the fatal crash in Old Tovil Road, Maidstone

Labeckis, who spoke only to be identified through a Russian interpreter, was remanded in custody until March 8 when he will enter pleas. A provisional trial date was set for June 10.

Family and friends of Mr Carwithen and Miss Cook sat in the public gallery at the brief hearing and were addressed by Judge Philip Statman.

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