A grandmother suffered life-changing injuries when she was involved in a road traffic accident in Telford, Shropshire, last year.
Lind Pitchford suffered serious injuries including a broken pelvis, six broken ribs, a damaged spleen and internal bleeding, after 25-year-old Daniel Luke Jones struck her VW polo whilst travelling at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour in a BMW.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how Jones fled the scene as shocked witnesses came to Mrs Pitchford’s aid as she was trapped inside the vehicle. Once emergency services managed to free Mrs Pitchford, she was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham.
The court also heard that she will be on medication for the rest of her life due to the critical injuries she suffered, after her damaged spleen had to be removed.
Prosectuing, Miss Samantha Powis, said: "At about 1.50pm Mrs Pitchford decided to go to the Asda car wash. When she got to the island she became aware of a white BMW veering out of control and travelling at massive high speed. Witnesses say it was going 70 to 80mph. This defendant was the driver. He came round the island, clipped the kerb and was described as something taking off towards her car. Miss Pitchford who initially lost consciousness awoke to find his car right across her bonnet."
Miss Powis added that moments before the collision police officers had spotted Jones using his mobile phone at the wheel. She went on to say that he was seen to drop the phone, before speeding off.
During sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gosling said: "The injuries to Mrs Pitchford were severe and life changing. You have a substantial criminal record and you had no insurance. All these factors put you close to the maximum of five years for this type of dangerous driving offence. However, I have to give regard to totality."
At a previous hearing Jones admitted causing Linda Pitchford serious injury by dangerous driving.
Jones was jailed for a total of eight years and six months for his offences, including possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine and possession of cannabis. He was also handed an extended road ban of seven years and three months relating to the collision.
Mr John Wyn Williams, mitigating, for Jones said: "He says he wants to apologise publicly to Mrs Pitchford. There is no way of minimising his behaviour."
Jones must serve of his sentence half before being released on licence. He was also ordered to pay the victims' surcharge.
Speaking to the Shropshire Star Mrs Pitchford, 67, who present in court for the sentencing, said: "I have no bitterness towards him. The main thing I wanted was to see him dealt with and not be in a position to do it again to somebody else. It's the fact that at the time of the crash he didn't face up to what he had done and ran off. A month later he went and got another car. It wasn't just me that he hit that day. I found it quite hard to learn in court that there were children in another involved and they saw what happened.
"Let's hope that he will learn his lesson. I am getting there, but I am on medication for the rest of my life due to losing my spleen and it was a shock to see the scar I was left with. I was in a lot of pain afterwards. One good thing to come out of it is that I now have an Midland Air Ambulance saving tin and I would love one day to meet the crew who airlifted me to hospital. All this from a simple journey to the car wash on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully I can move on now and put 2018 behind me."
This for us is an all too common situation of an innocent victim suffering catastrophic and life-changing injuries as the result of someone else’s appalling driving. One of the few compensations for Mrs Pitchford is that even though the other driver had no insurance she will, with the help of a solicitor, still be able to recover damages for her dreadful injuries from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the organisation which deals with this type of scenario.
Jeremy is a senior personal injury solicitor with Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about the issues raised in this article, or personal injury, and wish to speak with Jeremy or any other member of the team please contact us on 0161 237 5888. Alternatively, contact Jeremy directly here.