A motorhome driver has been handed a six-month suspended prison sentence, 150 hours’ unpaid work and 15 days’ rehabilitation after veering onto the wrong side of the road and crashing into an incoming car, knocking the driver unconscious and causing serious injuries.
He was also banned from driving for 18 months, Hull Daily Mail reports.
The other motorist saw what was about to happen and tried desperately to steer out of the way onto the grass verge before parts of the motorhome came crashing through his windscreen.
He had been left with a nasty eye injury and he and his wife were now terrified of being hit by another vehicle in a future accident, Hull Crown Court heard.
Andrew England, 59, of Lockwood Street, Hull, admitted causing serious injury by careless driving in the Beck Lane and Main Street area of Keyingham and failing to provide a breath specimen on October 28.
Rachel Scott, prosecuting, said that the man and his wife had been out dancing in Hull during the evening and were returning home to Keyingham at about 11pm. He was driving and she was the passenger in a car.
As they approached the last sharp corner before coming into Keyingham, England approached from the other direction while driving a motorhome.
England veered onto the wrong side of the road as he drove around the corner, crossing over and hitting the other car.
The car spun 90 degrees and both vehicles were badly damaged.
The other driver had tried to take evasive action and headed towards the grass verge but there was a collision and part of the motorhome and debris smashed through the car’s windscreen, hitting the man in the face and knocking him unconscious.
When he woke up, he repeatedly asked his wife what had happened.
e was covered in blood and was very confused.
A passing ambulance stopped at the scene.
England smelled of alcohol and gave a roadside breath test of 85mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mcg.
He was taken to hospital but had not been injured.
He told police that he had drunk eight pints of beer but later changed this to five pints.
At the police station, he gave one breath test of 69mcg but repeatedly blew too hard for a second test, despite being warned multiple times, and refused to make a fourth attempt.
The car driver was kept in hospital overnight and was discharged the next day.
He needed stitches for cuts and his right eye completely closed up. It did not open until October 31 and he had been left suffering from “floaters” in his eye.
This condition had improved but he was suffering from tinnitus.
The trauma of the incident had left the couple reluctant to drive.
“I am now terrified of a collision occurring,” he said. “I will generally use public transport for most journeys.”
Stephen Robinson, mitigating, said it was a serious incident and there had been serious consequences for both drivers. England had no penalty points on his licence at the time.
“He made a foolish decision to drive on this particular day,” said Mr Robinson. “He clearly had far too much to drink, whatever precisely it was. He is not a man who would habitually behave in this way.
“He is very sorry for what happened. He was concerned at the time for the complainant. He is remorseful for what happened and he now accepts that this was entirely his fault.
“He veered onto the other lane while taking the corner. He wasn’t speeding, however. He should never have been on the roads at all.”
He bought the camper van after inheriting money following a bereavement. “He now wishes he had never seen the thing,” said Mr Robinson.
“He has never been in trouble before at all, let alone for anything as serious as this.
“He has not really drunk since. He is aware now of bad things that can happen if one drinks too much.”
Judge Kate Rayfield said that, by drink-driving, England was putting other road users “at risk of harm or even death” because such people lacked the necessary response and reaction times and sometimes misjudged things.
“His wife must have been petrified,” said Judge Rayfield.
“His injuries were serious. I accept that you didn’t intend to cause anyone any harm but you risked causing serious harm.
“This was an isolated incident born out of poor judgement. Importantly, there was no evidence of speeding.”
England made a deliberate attempt to cover up how much he had actually drunk by failing to give the second breath test at the police station. “I am just able to suspend your sentence,” said Judge Rayfield.