A NURSE has gone on trial accused of killing a 65-year-old man in a head-on crash when she was in a “seriously drugged-up state” on strong painkiller Tramadol.

Cerys Price, of Limestone Road East, Nantyglo, denies causing the death by dangerous driving of Robert Dean, of Cwmcarn, more than three years ago.

The 28-year-old has also pleaded not guilty to causing serious injury to her then boyfriend, Jack Tinklin, by dangerous driving.

Mr Dean died on the A467 between Rogerstone and the Bassaleg roundabout in Newport after the collision on July 15, 2016.

A jury heard how she was at the wheel of an Isuzu pick-up that collided with his Vauxhall Astra as she and her partner had planned to go on a camping trip to the Gower.

They were told she had Tramadol in her blood at a concentration of 1,803 microgrammes per litre which “was significantly higher than any normal therapeutic range”.

Barrister Timothy Evans told Cardiff Crown Court: “The prosecution case is that Miss Price was a graduate level nurse – she is an intelligent woman – and should have known how dangerous it was for her to drive in that state.

“To do so falls way below the proper standards expected of drivers on our roads. She lost control in that state.

“A completely innocent man, simply minding his own business driving along the opposite side of the road, lost his life. Her boyfriend suffered serious injury. You can be sure that those awful consequences were directly caused by her dangerous driving.”

Mr Evans added: “Miss Price, who was a qualified nurse, had taken a large amount of a drug which you cannot buy over the counter of a shop. It is prescription-only in this country.

“It is the prosecution case that having taken that amount of that drug, unprescribed by any doctor, she was in no way fit to drive a car and that her loss of control must have been due to her voluntarily and dangerously choosing to drive in that seriously drugged-up state.”

The jury were told that Price told police she had bought Tramadol in Mexico and officers found a tub of the drug in the crashed Isuzu.

Mr Evans added: “Side effects of Tramadol can include, even in normal doses: sedation, dizziness, confusion and lack of coordination. Higher doses are associated with tremors, muscle spasms, seizures and coma.

“The frequency and severity of such effects depends on the dosage, duration over which it is taken and the sensitivity of the individual.”

Giving evidence, Mr Tinklin, who was a front seat passenger in the Isuzu was asked by Mr Evans to explain what he had witnessed before the crash.

He replied: “She (Price) had a seizure. She made a funny noise and was slumped over the steering wheel. The car drifted off the road, through the central reservation. She seemed like she was dead.”