Driver jailed for head-on smash on dark country lane that left man seriously injured

A motorist who smashed head-on into oncoming car after overtaking on a dark country lane in near-freezing conditions has been jailed.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 10:52 am

Jack Hall was seen to tailgate, failed to indicate at junctions, drove at speed and overtook several cars during a 20-minute spell of "aggressive" driving, before ploughing into a BMW and seriously injuring the driver, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Frances Pencheon said several witnesses had seen the 28-year-old's erratic driving at Fitzwilliam at around 6.30pm on December 16, 2019.

It was dark and the temperature was close to freezing when his Audi A4 first overtook two cars on Weeland Road, with one witness estimating he had been travelling at around 50mph in a 30mph zone.

Garmil Head Lane, Fitzwilliam, where the crash occurred.

Other drivers then said Hall's Audi A4 was then driving up close to vehicles in front. He overtook another vehicle and then almost collided with a car pulling out of a junction.

On Garmil Head Lane, a country B-road, he tailgated one woman who said she felt nervous because he was so close.

In a fateful move, he overtook another vehicle as the victim's BMW was heading towards him. The driver he overtook estimated that he was travelling between 80 and 90mph.

Hall tried to pull back in after completing the overtaking move, but lost control and the Audi veered back into the path of the BMW.

The last memory the BMW driver had was the loud bang, before being left unconscious.

He was taken to LGI with a torn abdomen, bleeding spleen and broken toes. He needed surgery on his stomach and sometime later, on his foot.

An impact statement suggested he suffered mentally after the crash, and lost his job of 24 years.

Hall, of Hunters Farm Glade, Kinsley, initially denied responsibility for the crash, claiming the car he had overtaken had accelerated when he tried the manoeuvre.

He admitted a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and accepted the facts laid out by the prosecutor.

The court was told he had previous two speeding offences on his licence.

Mitigating for Hall, Nathan Davis said he had shown remorse for his actions and added: "He accepts it's a stupid and serious error of judgement.

"He made a an extremely poor decision."

Mr David said Hall himself had suffered serious injuries in the crash also, including a punctured lung, fractures to his spine and to his leg, which required surgery.

He said that Hall was a sales executive for Car Buying Group, was engaged and had a second child on the way.

Judge Robin Mairs told Hall: "It was by mercy and by luck rather than design that the collision did not kill both of you.

"This was not a momentary loss of attention. You had driven in this manner for up to 20 minutes.

"There were previous overtaking manoeuvres which were clearly unsafe."

He jailed Hall for 10 months, and banned him from driving for three years and five months.