Driver jailed after crash causes serious injuries to passenger, 15
- Credit: Archant
A speeding motorist who smashed through a hedge before ending up overturned in a field near Halesworth, causing serious injuries to a 15-year-old passenger has been jailed for 21 months.
Donna Cushion, who was sitting in the rear of the Citreon Saxo, was thrown out of the vehicle and suffered a broken bone in her neck, a broken shoulder blade and broken bones in her back, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Joanne Eley, prosecuting, said Miss Cushion, who was wearing a seatbelt and was only 14 at the time of the accident, was due to have surgery in October to have metal rods inserted in her back to correct curvature of her spine.
She said that prior to the crash Miss Cushion had been frightened at how fast Luke Fuller was driving and she and the other passenger had asked him to slow down.
She said the speed limit for the stretch of road where the car left the road was 60mph and a police accident investigator estimated Fuller had been driving at 65-80mph.
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However, she said the officer felt that 34mph would have been a safe speed to negotiate the bend.
Before the court was Luke Fuller, 21, of Bonsey Gardens, Wrentham. He pleaded guilty to causing serious injury to the teenager by driving dangerously on the A144 Top Road at Ilketshall St Andrew on September 29, 2013.
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He also admitted driving without insurance on the same occasion.
In addition to jailing Fuller, Judge Martyn Levett banned him from driving for 30 months and ordered him to take an extended retest.
Sentencing him, Judge Levett said he had been driving 'dangerously fast'. 'I suspect there was an element of showing off,' he said.
Miss Eley said Miss Cushion and another girl had been in the rear of the car and there was also a male front seat passenger in the vehicle.
She said the car didn't have an MoT and road tax and Fuller was not insured to drive the vehicle.
She said that following the collision a police expert found the car's braking system was defective. Miss Eley said two police officers in a marked police car were on the A144 near Halesworth when they saw the Citreon being driven at speed and had turned round to follow it.
The officers illuminated the flashing lights and siren on their car but had stopped following Fuller's car after losing it and had contacted other officers.
Steven Dyble, for Fuller, said his client was injured in the accident and had since then he had suffered from depression and had been unable to work.
'It has had a profound effect on him,' said Mr Dyble.
He said Fuller had short-term insurance which had expired and he hadn't deliberately driven without insurance. He said Fuller hadn't been escaping from the police at the time of the collision.