Drunk man suffered major injury in crash

Preston Crown Court.
Preston Crown Court.
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A man suffered serious injury while drink driving in his “death trap” car, a court has heard.

Lance Smith-Hollins lost control of his vehicle while overtaking, demolished a nearby wall and was flung from the car by the impact.

He ended up in the middle of the road with serious back injuries, a broken leg and head injuries.

The 25-year-old, of Casa Nostra, Garstang, appeared at Preston Crown Court for sentencing, having admitted offences of dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified and not having insurance.

The incident happened on the night of Saturday, May 10 last year on Garstang Road East, Poulton.

A woman motorist was suddenly overtaken by him in a Peugeot 106, travelling on the wrong side of the road.

Joe Allman, prosecuting, said the other car was doing 56-60 miles an hour and in her words, “shot past” and lost control.

The vehicle mounted the kerb, fully demolished a wall and rebounded into a lamp post.

The car then rebounded back into the road and debris was flying all around.

Mr Allman told the court: “The defendant was flung out of the car because the passenger door wasn’t secure. There was no seat belt. He ended up in the middle of the road.

“His rear passenger remained in the car. Passers-by helped get the passenger out.

“The defendant himself was bleeding heavily from his head and unable to stand, let alone move. He was taken to hospital”.

A blood test showed he was over the drink drive limit and that he had recently taken cocaine.

The court was told the car’s suspension had been cut down, sensor wires to the brakes had been cut, the driver’s seat was not secure, nor was the passenger door. In addition there was a large cutaway section in body work that had sharp edges and the handbrake only worked on one wheel.

Any one of those factors would have seen it fail an MOT test.

Julie Taylor, defending, explained he had been drinking after work and took a stupid decision to collect his car from the garage, where he was a mechanic, and drive home.

She said: “The dangerseems mostly applicable to the state of the car which he had modified.

“It was a dreadful accident. Fortunately for him the only person significantly injured was himself.

“He cracked two vertebrae in his spine, broke his leg and had serious head injuries. He was in hospital for some time afterwards.”

Miss Taylor added that Smith-Hollins was extremely remorseful for his actions.

“He is very grateful no-one else suffered harm, save himself. He has modified his behaviour since then and changed his is job. The offences have been a wake-up call”.

The judge, Recorder Susan Grocott QC, said “The car was nothing more than a death trap”.

The defendant was given 12 months’ prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work.